Lakers superstar LeBron James made many accusations regarding the NBA’s decision to restart the season in December recently.
NBPA director Michele Roberts has been under fire all through this season owing to complaints regarding a shortened season. The decision to play 72 games and start the season in mid-December was one also endorsed by most players.
This is the part of the truth that LeBron didn’t make clear to the general public. There was undoubtedly a directive from the league office regarding a minimum number of games to be played.
The league’s corporate overlords had decided that for their multi-billion dollar television deals to stand valid, they’d have to play every team a minimum of 72 games over the course of the entire regular season.
With Tokyo 2020 coming up in mid-July, the NBA had very few scheduling options but to start the season in December. And teams like the Miami Heat and LA Lakers got the short end of the stick thus.
Michele Roberts refutes the notion that LeBron James didn’t know how the season was finalized
As director of the NBPA, a lion’s share of the responsibility to handle negotiations smoothly fell on Roberts. She’d already been tested to the limit regarding the players’ mindset during their bubble strike in the wake of the Jacob Blake shootings.
In Michele’s words, there’s no chance that LeBron James didn’t know how the league’s hands were tied:
“I don’t run this union. I know that people think I do. But the players know better. They run this union. That was the reason my predecessor [Billy Hunter] got fired, because on some level, they thought that he was he was unilaterally making decisions that affected them.”
“The recommendation to start in December came from the league. So the big ask was, could we start the games in December? And the answer was not yes from Michele. The decision to play or not to play comes from the players.”