The Los Angeles Lakers sharpshooter Danny Green, who became just the third player from University of North Carolina (UNC) to win an NCAA championship and an NBA championship (the two others being James Worthy and Michael Jordan), expressed his support on Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley no matter what decision will make on season restart.
Dwight Howard, who played for The Los Angeles Lakers center in two years 2012-2013, and subsequently returned in 2019 until now, scored a season-high 21 points on a 9–of–11 shooting and got a season-high 15 rebounds on January 13, 2020.
In his statement on Saturday night provided by his agent, Charles Briscoe, Dwight Howard suggested basketball’s return might be an unnecessary distraction. He also said that the “unity of my people would be an even bigger championship” than possibly winning his first NBA title with the Lakers. Briscoe further clarified Howard’s statement on Sunday, saying his client’s words were more about recognizing the importance of the social issues at hand. He also emphasized that the Lakers big man hasn’t made a decision yet about playing basketball this season since it is the last thing in his mind at the moment.
Howard was not the only Lakers player to air his grievances with the potential return-to-play plan, as Avery Bradley has reportedly been one of the main orchestrators in creating a dialogue about the issue. Bradley, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers since 2019. He plays shooting guard although he has a build more typical of a point guard.
The players want to get this right. People of color make up over 80 percent of the league, and NBA players have been among the most active in speaking out against racial injustice and participating in protests. Regardless of their decision, the players are likely to establish a forum on how best to remain active in terms of using their voices and staying present in various communities.
According to these statements, Green revealed he talked to both of them a few days back and accounted for the situation around their thoughts on not playing in Orlando.
“There’s a lot of other things going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about, and I understood,” Green said on “Inside the Green Room” podcast per the Orange County Register.
“I said, ‘Obviously we need you man, we love you like a brother. You’re family. We want you to be a part of this. But regardless of what your decision is, we know it’s bigger than basketball and that there are things that are more important.”
Several players are weighting the situation around their participation on the Orlando ‘bubble’ amid coronavirus pandemic and social unrest due to racial injustice.
The deadline for players unwilling to participate to notify their teams is Wednesday 24 June, while already two NBA teams announced that they had coronavirus positive players.
Whether players decide to play or not in the NBA restart, every decision in this situation will be understandable.