The following morning, members of the NBPA executive co…

The following morning, members of the NBPA executive committee had a phone call with owners and executives across the league. Some of the most powerful people in sports were on that call, including Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan. “Michael was a calming influence,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tells me. “I think that was really impactful. Because in the back of everybody’s minds, people think, ‘Republicans buy sneakers too.’ And here was Michael Jordan stepping out and really connecting to players and really saying, ‘Okay, we’re all in this together. What do we need to do?’ ” It was LeBron James who had the final statement on the call. “I thought [LeBron] was really compelling,” Cuban recalls. “He talked about how we need to be able to connect to young African American kids. What really stuck with me was when he said a lot of kids where he grew up can’t afford cable and that the only way to watch our games is on cable. And we have a challenge [in addressing] those types of issues and lifting people up, so that it’s not about cable or watching the NBA on cable but more about: How do we help these kids improve where they are in life?”
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January 26, 2021 | 8:02 pm EST Update