As the NBA's restart bubble in Orlando nears its close, Lakers star LeBron James was asked during an NBA Finals press conference how the league getting together in one location affected the players' collective goal of raising awareness for social justice matters.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer, there was debate among players about whether resuming games would be an unproductive distraction from nationwide unrest and the conversation about racial injustice.
James, though, seems to believe getting the league back going helped the movement.
"Being here has given us strength in numbers," he said on video conference Thursday.
"That's a byproduct of us being here, being able to use this platform, being able to talk about everything that's going on outside the court. All the social injustices, voter suppression; so many other things that are going on. Police brutality and so on and so on. Us being here, having the opportunity to be able to talk about these issues and being able to understand that this the world is not just basketball. Even though we live in it and it's small world within the game of basketball, there are so many different things that you can make an impact, you can make a change and you can have a vision."
James, of course, has reason to enjoy the bubble experience because his Lakers are likely to leave with the 2019-20 championship. But he is also a leader among the players when it comes to off-court issues both in the political realm and in charity efforts.
After praising the progress made so far, he said it may be more challenging once all the players are gone from Orlando and goes to their homes all around the world.
"Where do we go from here? We don't stop, obviously, when the season ends in less than a week. Let everyone disperse and go back [home], but I hope that people continue to use their platform, use their individual social media platforms," James said.
James has been integral in voter mobilization efforts under his recently-created organization called 'More Than a Vote.' Other players have joined on and many teams around the league have assisted the overall cause by promoting voter registration and opening their arenas as polling places.
With the Nov. 3 election just over three weeks away, many of the efforts James and others have put forth will be put to the test when it comes to voter turnout numbers and the possible election of more politicians who believe in the fight for social justice.