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LeBron James downplays talk of player boycott over Sterling

The Miami Heat star reiterated his support for NBA commissioner Adam Silver over the Donald Sterling controversy.
By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |   May 14, 2014 at 9:06 PM
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MIAMI, May 14 (UPI) -- LeBron James has walked back comments made by Roger Mason Jr., his former teammate and vice president of the NBA Players Association.

Mason indicated Tuesday that James would consider leading a player boycott if Donald Sterling still owned the Los Angeles Clippers 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."

James told reporters on Wednesday that he and his teammates supported NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who slapped Sterling with a lifetime ban from the NBA last month.

"We as players see what Adam Silver's doing," {link:James said" target="_blank"}. "He's moving forward, and if he continues, which we believe Adam Silver will do, to move aggressively on the situation, then as players we have nothing to worry about."

The NBA's Board of Governors is expected to vote to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, though observers expect the 80-year-old to put up a legal fight to keep his team.

"We don't know what's going to happen," James continued. "We know what we want to happen, but the legal system can be a pain. The fact we have to continue to talk about this at a great time in our sport [stinks]."

Mason also backtracked on his comments Wednesday.

"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," he tweeted. "My bad if I was not clear.LBJ never said anything about boycotting.He's a friend and I would never want to imply something he didn't say."

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