Lakers Star LeBron James Destroys NBA Over Controversial Decision

Lakers superstar LeBron James

Getty Lakers superstar LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers star small forward LeBron James destroyed the NBA on September 14th over a controversial decision the league made.

James wasn’t happy with the NBA’s punishment of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, who was banned from the NBA for one year and fined $10 million after the league released its findings from a 10-month independent investigation into allegations of workplace abuse during Sarver’s tenure as managing partner of the Suns.

The Lakers and Suns are in the same division. Sarver was found to have, on at least five occasions, repeated the N-word when recounting the statements of others. There were also “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees,” the NBA said in its statement, including “sex-related comments” and inappropriate comments on employees’ appearances.

The investigation, led by New York-based law firm Wachtell Lipton, found that Sarver “engaged in conduct that clearly violated common workplace standards, as reflected in team and league rules and policies.”

Chris Paul Agrees with LeBron

Suns All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who served two terms as president of the National Basketball Players Association, agreed with James that Sarver’s discipline “fell short in truly addressing what we can all agree was atrocious behavior.”

Paul and James, two of the best players in NBA history, are close friends.

During a press conference on September 14th, NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed concerns he has fielded from the league’s player base, which is nearly 75% Black. It’s evident that James and Paul wanted Sarver banned from the NBA for life.

“Look, I think it’s no secret this is a league where roughly 80% of our players are Black. More than half our coaches are Black,” Silver said. “I will say that none of them maybe are as shocked as I am, living their lives, that I don’t think they’re reading this saying, oh my god, I can’t believe this happens.”

National Basketball Players Association executive director Tamika Tremaglio also criticized the discipline, calling Sarver’s conduct “horrible.” James, Paul and Tremaglio believe Sarver should have gotten the Donald Sterling treatment.

“I have made my position known to Adam Silver regarding my thoughts on the extent of the punishment, and strongly believe that Mr. Sarver should never hold a managerial position within our league again,” Tremaglio said in a statement.

Both James and Paul have spent the last half of their careers as public advocates for social change. Paul was on the Los Angeles Clippers when Silver suspended Sterling for life in the wake of audio recordings of Sterling making racist comments in 2014.

Why Didn’t Silver Ban Sarver for Life?

Silver said the one-year suspension he gave to Sarver for making racist and misogynist remarks could have been longer. However, he stated that he didn’t “have the right to take away his team.”

“I have certain authority by virtue of this organization, and that’s what I exercise,” Silver said. “I don’t have the right to take away his team. I don’t want to rest on that legal point because of course there could be a process to take away someone’s team in this league. It’s very involved, and I ultimately made the decision that it didn’t rise to that level. But, to me, the consequences are severe here on Mr. Sarver.

“There’s no neat answer here, other than the rights that come with owning an NBA team, how that is set up within our constitution. What it would take to remove that team from his control is a very involved process, and it’s different than holding a job. It just is. When you actually own a team, it’s just a very different proposition.”

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