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LeBron James and former President Barack Obama sat down for a conversation during Friday’s episode of The Shop on HBO to discuss the NBA bubble and Tuesday’s election.
Following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the players went on a wildcat strike led by the Milwaukee Bucks in protest. James and Obama held a phone call in which the 44th president provided guidance.
Up until that point, James revealed that he and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates were ready to end the season without crowning a champion.
“We were trying to figure out, if we leave or if we stay, what is our plan?” James said. “What is our call for action?”
That’s when James said he called Obama.
The phone call led to another surge of player activism as the league resumed its season after agreeing to a series of commitments to support social justice and racial equality. The NBA and NBPA established a social-justice coalition of players, coaches and governors to focus on a wide range of issues and dedicated ad time during games to civic engagement.
The league also agreed to work toward turning arenas owned by individual franchises into polling places for the upcoming election.