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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

LeBron James believes he can play basketball and make a difference at same time

LeBron James

Kyrie Irving is leading a movement to have players not participate in the NBA’s resumed season in Orlando. LeBron James is among the players who wants to resume the season, for a number of reasons.

On the surface, James is 35 and knows he has few chances left in his career to win another title and add to his legacy as a player. He doesn’t want to see that opportunity lost, especially when his Los Angeles Lakers have a great shot to win it all. Conversely, Irving is 28 and out for the season with a shoulder injury, so not playing wouldn’t change much for him.

But beyond that, James did not participate in Irving’s phone call on Friday because he feels differently from his former teammate.

The Athletic’s Sam Amick says James believes he can continue to make a difference in society while also playing basketball at the same time. Whether it was partnering with Akron for the “I Promise School” or more recently leading an athlete voting movement, James has been doing that throughout his career.

Why would playing prevent him from continuing to do so?

James and others likely feel that they have been able to use the stage the NBA provides them to build popularity and a platform to share their ideas and beliefs. Playing basketball and making a difference can work hand-in-hand.

As for whether or not the season is resumed, we will soon find out. The vote was unanimous — 28-0 — from the players agreeing to the resumed season. Approximately 80 players joined Irving’s call. Will that be enough to keep the season from resuming? There would be significant financial implications to such a move.

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