There were so many things about the NBA Bubble in Orlando that were unprecedented. The primary concern was the healthy and safety of everyone involved, as the league worked to navigate the global pandemic that has infected millions around the world and cost the lives of nearly a quarter-million people in the United States alone.
But the NBA was also facing the dilemma of restarting its season amid nationwide protests over the killing of unarmed black people by police. That came to a head in late August after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin when players made the bombshell decision to briefly stop play during the opening round of the playoffs in order to put pressure on the league and the owners to come up with a meaningful social justice initiative.
Stopping play wasn’t an easy decision to make, and with LeBron James being the de facto face of the league, it fell upon him to bear the brunt of the decision as to whether they would cancel the season altogether or find a way forward. LeBron has been vocal about the fact that he and other players were fortunate to be able to turn to former president Barack Obama for advice, and during the latest episode of his HBO show The Shop, LeBron had a chance to thank him personally.
“We were ready to leave too.”
LeBron on the players’ strike in the bubble after the police shooting of Jacob Blake
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 31, 2020
It was a wide-ranging discussion on a number of relevant topics, with Obama during one segment imploring voters not to give into the frustration and cynicism and make sure they make their voices heard on election day.
“Don’t let the frustration turn into cynicism where then you just think nothing can change”@BarackObama on channeling our anger into action #TheShopHBO @HBOmax pic.twitter.com/A5AJXRB0os
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) October 31, 2020
The entire episode is well worth the watch. One of the best moments was when LeBron talked about his mother voting, for what he believes is the very first time, followed by Obama giving her a special shout out.
.@KingJames explains how he was proud of his mom for voting for the first time.
A new special episode of #TheShopHBO: Uninterrupted featuring @BarackObama in conversation with @KingJames and @MavCarter premieres Friday at 9 p.m. ET on @HBOMax pic.twitter.com/cNhlLdSmtz
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 28, 2020
The episode is available via HBO Max.