LeBron: Sterling progress 'good'

ByMichael Wallace Via <a Href="http://espn.go.com/" Title="espn" Class="espn_sc_byline">espn </a>
May 14, 2014, 9:00 PM

&#151; -- MIAMI -- LeBron James says the NBA is progressing "good enough for now" to remove banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from his stake in the team, but that there needs to continue to be urgency in the process.

Earlier this month, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from all league functions and activities and has pressed the league's other 29 owners to vote to remove Sterling from his controlling stake in the team.

Sterling came under fire after TMZ released recordings of repeated racist comments he made during a taped conversation with his associate V. Stiviano.

James has been one of the league's most outspoken players on the Sterling controversy, and has demanded that the NBA kick its longest-tenured owner out of the league. But James on Wednesday denied he has told players' union members he would back a boycott if Sterling still owns the team next season.

"At the end of the day, we see what Adam Silver is doing, and he's moving forward," James said before the Miami Heat's playoff game against the Brooklyn Nets. "And if he continues, which we believe Adam Silver will do on the situation, then us players have nothing to worry about."

NBA players union vice president Roger Mason Jr., who played for the Heat earlier this season and has visited the team during the playoffs, said during an interview with the Jim Rome Show on Showtime that James had told him during a recent conversation that he would back a player boycott next season.

Mason later clarified his comments in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

"My bad if I was not clear," Mason's post read. "LBJ never said anything about boycotting. He's a friend, and I would never want to imply something he didn't say."

James acknowledged before Wednesday's game that he spoke with Mason during one of his visits to the Heat's locker room. Mason spent time with the Heat as recently as last week before Game 2 of the Heat's series against the Nets.

But James said he hasn't spoken with Mason this week.

"Roger comes in here, we speak about issues," James said. "I believe that issue came up but, as a team, we never discussed it. Roger is a great guy and I don't have a problem with him at all."

James said the focus needs to return to the games and not on any potential boycott. He also added that he trusts the league's process so far, with two league finance committee meetings having already been held to determine how best to remove Sterling from ownership.

According to league bylaws, removing Sterling from his stake in the team would require a vote by 75 percent of league's owners. Silver has not yet announced when a vote among owners would take place.

But Sterling and his estranged wife Shelly have indicated they would fight any attempt to force them to sell.

James said players understand the battle could play out in the legal system for several months.

"We don't know what's going to happen," James said. "We know what we want to happen, but the legal system can be a pain. The fact we have to continue to talk about this at a great time in our sport (stinks)."

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