clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

LeBron James speaks out on Robert Sarver punishment: ‘Our league got this wrong’

In the wake of the league’s punishment for Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, LeBron James spoke out on his displeasure in how the NBA handled matters.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the NBA announced the findings and punishment for their nearly year-long investigation into Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver. The investigation started after a piece from Baxter Holmes of ESPN revealed a long, long list of alleged transgressions.

Sarver was fined $10 million and suspended from the WNBA and NBA for a year, a punishment that has drawn some criticism from those around the league. Among those, on Wednesday, was LeBron James as the outspoken star voiced his displeasure in how the league handled the situation.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday prior to LeBron’s tweets, NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference on the matter that really only served to further anger fans about the punishment. For many, Sarver’s punishment felt like much more of a slap on the wrist than someone like Donald Sterling, the former Clippers owner who was forced to sell the franchise for similar transgressions.

James, though, is one of the first players to speak out on the matter itself. Given Silver’s hardline stance in his press conference, if anything else is to happen, it’ll likely come because the players push for it.

For one, it’s entirely unfair to put the players in the position to force change, a somewhat similar thing that happened with Sterling and the Clippers during the playoffs in 2014. If something is to happen this time around, it likely is going to start with James’ tweet on Wednesday and with more players following his lead.

It’s a credit to James that time and time again he’s willing to speak out on matters like this away from the court, knowing the level of scrutiny everything he says is under. His words carry a very heavy weight, especially within the NBA, and James hasn’t shied away from throwing that weight around when he feels it’s necessary.

Ultimately, nothing may change the NBA’s punishment of Sarver, especially after how long they investigated before coming to their conclusion. But it’s no small matter that LeBron is pushing back on how the league handled it.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.