Lebron James may not have won Most Valuable Player this year but he certainly is one of the biggest leaders in the NBA. James has been very vocal about the Donald Sterling scandal and his wish for the Los Angeles Clippers to be sold. A Tuesday report by CBS Sports says that Lebron James will lead an NBA boycott if Sterling is still the owner next season but that didn't come from Lebron's mouth.
There is huge problem with the most recent threat that Lebron will lead the NBA players in a boycott if the Clippers aren't sold by the upcoming season. For starters, the sale of an NBA team is a multi-million (if not billion) dollar deal. That's not the same as heading to the mall with a credit card. The deal will take a lot of time, probably several months and that's if Sterling doesn't dispute it.
A Donald Sterling dispute involving lawyers, courtrooms and lots of drama is almost guaranteed. Sterling said during his Anderson Cooper interview that he would honor the decision of the other NBA owners but that may not be the case. Additionally, if Donald doesn't take the matter to court, his estranged wife Shelly Sterling probably will. In any event, we can expect the sale of the Clippers to be tied up in court for some time.
Another huge issue with the claims that Lebron James will lead a boycott is that Lebron never said it. CBS Sports cited a "top executive of the NBA Players Association" as their source. That top executive happens to be former Lebron teammate Roger Mason Jr. Again, Lebron James has never went public with any offer of leading a boycott. Maybe he's said some things in the heat of the moment or in the locker room but nothing boycott-like has exited his mouth in front of a microphone.
What Lebron has said is this:
At the end of the day, this is going to be a long litigation when it comes to that. This guy who's owned the team since the '80s is not going to just give the team up in a day. So we understand it's going to be long, but we want what's right.
Now what will happen if Donald Sterling remains the Clippers owner throughout the season or even after? Or what will happen if the NBA either cannot remove Sterling as an owner or chooses not to? Now that is totally different and we can expect many NBA players to boycott. So long as Donald Sterling owns that team, we can expect players not to want to play for him. We can expect the big stars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to demand trades or to move during free agency.
In any case, don't expect the Los Angeles Clippers to be under new ownership when the 2014-15 season starts. It is very unlikely that the team will sell that fast without a hitch and Sterling isn't going down without a fight regardless of what he says about doing what the other NBA owners decide during his Anderson Cooper interview.