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Roger Mason backtracks, now says LeBron ‘never said anything about boycotting’ if Donald Sterling continues to own Clippers

May 14, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

First, there was this:

Now, a day later, we have this:

Roger Mason Jr. is the vice president of the NBA Players Association, and has been a strong voice as part of the union’s leadership in the past. In an interview with Jim Rome on Showtime, he sure made it seem like he had heard directly from LeBron James, and that James would lead a boycott if Clippers owner Donald Sterling hadn’t been removed from that position by the beginning of next season.

“I was just in the locker room three or four days ago. LeBron and I talked about it,” Mason said. “He ain’t playing if Sterling is still an owner.”

Apparently, that’s not exactly the case.

As predicted by Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, James obviously wants no part of this as he marches deeper into the postseason, and now that Mason’s quotes have hit the national media, he’s clearly been forced to retract.

Jim asked me about guys playing next season if Sterling remained an owner. I mentioned I spoke to LBJ as I speak to many players,” Mason said via his Twitter page. “The bottom line is that our commissioner, team owners, fans, players, and the world all agree that there is no place for racism in our league.”

That last part is completely obvious. What isn’t as clear is why Mason felt the need to be interviewed about the subject and speak so strongly about it, while involving essentially the face of the league and the game’s best player if James hadn’t specifically made those statements.

The league is moving as quickly as possible to terminate Sterling’s ownership, and they will do so no matter the court battle that likely awaits them in the future. It seems as though Mason felt like keeping the pressure on from the players’ standpoint to ensure that this in fact takes place, but it seemed wholly unnecessary given the swift and forceful way that commissioner Adam Silver has responded.

  1. bougin89 - May 14, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    No kidding…

  2. cantonbound13 - May 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Sounds like something he would say but not follow through on.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Why he would he say something like that when it’s about next year and he has this year’s playoffs to get through? Granted, some players have seemed amazingly distractable this playoff season, but LeBron is not one of them, so far anyway.

      • duhwighthoward - May 14, 2014 at 6:33 PM

        Are you having an imaginary bromance with him?

  3. bucrightoff - May 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Donald Sterling figures to be owner for a while longer while the legal battle plays out, so it was a pretty bizarre threat. I also wonder why players didn’t refuse to play for the Clippers earlier considering its been known for at least a decade that Sterling is a racist.

    • skids003 - May 15, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      $$$$$$.

  4. jacobk621 - May 14, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Best way to quiet this down temporary is for the Thunder to eliminate the Clippers , that’s why we saw all those bogus calls at the end of game 5 between these 2 teams

  5. jattsoorma - May 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    How is roger mason even the spokesmen? hes not even in the league

  6. 1historian - May 14, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    This gets funnier and funnier. So the guy (in a private conversation taped without his knowledge) made some racist remarks.

    It’s called ‘freedom of speech’ and I would sure like to know how many NBA players have served in the military to defend that right.

    • duhwighthoward - May 14, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      Yes, let us remember the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where America bravely defended the right to free speech.

      These would be the only wars they could have served in, given their age.

      And your name is “historian”?

    • asimonetti88 - May 14, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      Do you know what freedom of speech means?

      Is Donald Sterling going to jail?

      No?

      Then he still has his right to free speech.

    • thegloriousone - May 14, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      The last war any American fought in for free speech was the American Revolution.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 15, 2014 at 1:41 AM

      Gotta love guys who talk about defending free speech, and have no clue what it means.
      Historian, what kinda American are you if you don’t even know what the 1st Amendment says or means?

      I’d sure like to know how anyone who can consider themselves a patriot and a good American can completely fail at knowing what the Constitution says.

    • bougin89 - May 15, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      1historian, you should brush up on your history of the 1st Amendment.

  7. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - May 14, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Aka someone told Lebron to use his head for once shut up play basketball and stay out of politics….

  8. suckit619 - May 14, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Of course he’s not going to boycott. His brand is more important to him than anything, and boycotting means less $$ and exposure for his brand.

    • borderline1988 - May 14, 2014 at 8:18 PM

      Why are you making this more than it is?
      Lebron obviously wouldn’t want to say that because everyone knows the court system can drag this along for years.

      Roger Mason made an idiotic statement. He retracted it. That’s ut

      • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - May 14, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        You are a fool if you believe that and while we are at it I have some magic beans to sell ya……

      • borderline1988 - May 15, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        The players know they have leverage here. If the owners today said “we retract our position on Sterling; he’s reinstated as owner and no punishment is to be handed out” – I guarantee you that the players will boycott next season.

        That’s the biggest reason why the owners support Silver. They have zero leverage, both with the players and the fans.

        But Mason’s statement was stupid because if Sterling fights, the battle in the courts could take years. If the players boycott in that situation, everyone loses with nothing accomplished. That’s obviously why Lebron doesn’t want that statement attributed to him.

        Obviously brands and $$$ is important, but don’t let your preconceived notions dictate every situation. There is something more going on here. The players are sensitive to racism, ESPECIALLY from the owners because they feel like the old white owners are always out to steal their money. This is their chance to control the situation, and trust me, the players have every intention of doing so

      • skids003 - May 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Yeah, if they have to get a real job in this economy, they’ll be hurting. I don’t think they are that stupid.

  9. eugenesaxe1 - May 14, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Way to lose credibility Mason. It’s not that people misunderstood you, your statement was quite clear.

  10. smackingfools - May 14, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    I thought Lebron played in Miami? Also thought Magic was a lakers guy? Why are they all up in this???

  11. smackingfools - May 14, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Don’t really know is any is you know what ‘freedom’ is or exactly why we stay in wars. I can guarantee you it isn’t about ‘free speech’

  12. daubs17 - May 14, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    please lebron. do us all a favor and spare us your annoying nonsense for a year

  13. gmfw7 - May 14, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    While I agree mason looks like an idiot at the end of all this…any of you who fell for this: you’re a bunch of dopes. Lebron stuck out his chest and said he won’t play if sterling remains owner. Then thd story hit the news and lebron told mason to retract the statement because he doesn’t want anh unnecessary attention during the playoffs. Mason did as asked. Period. Im sure a lot of nba players are on their high horses right now saying the same thing as lebron but they’ll all care less about the good of african americans and more about themselves once they start losing money.

  14. sportsfan18 - May 14, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    players might want to distance themselves from this dude… a 10 cent brain is giving him too much credit…

    the owners took the players to the cleaners last time and they have been preparing for the next strike and the players have a “leader” like this…

  15. sonnysuave - May 15, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    To have a VP of any organization, start an apology by saying “My bad”… makes your organization a joke! Please get a new VP, NBPA!

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