A number of players throughout the NBA either made the decision to opt out of returning to finish the season in Orlando, Florida, or were forced to not travel due to positive coronavirus tests.
All-Stars such as Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo and Kyrie Irving will all be sitting out for various reasons, but arguably none affect a potential championship contender more than Los Angeles Lakers starting guard Avery Bradley choosing to not to participate due to health concerns for his son.
Bradley’s numbers may not have stood out, but he was an integral part of the Lakers’ rotation. His most important role was setting the tone defensively, and he did a great job of guarding the other team’s point guard. Bradley was also shooting the ball very well and was playing his best basketball at the time of postponement.
Despite Bradley’s decision, the Lakers franchise has backed him wholeheartedly and even plan on giving him a championship ring should they accomplish that goal. Perhaps he may feel differently once the games get going, but at this point in time Bradley has no regrets about his decision, as he revealed to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
“To be honest, I don’t struggle with not being in Orlando,” he told Yahoo Sports. “I am at a point in my life where I have learned not to make decisions until I am sure of what I am doing.”
Bradley has been in the league for a long time and has experienced plenty of things throughout his life. As he said, he gave this a lot of thought and didn’t come to his final decision until he was absolutely sure it was what he wanted to do.
Bradley surely wanted to push for a championship with his teammates, but sometimes there are things that are more important and the health of his family undoubtedly falls into that category.
Whether or not he would accept the championship ring should the Lakers capture it is up in the air, but the fact that the franchise would even offer it shows how much they value him.
Of course, if the Lakers plan on winning that championship it will take a group effort to replace what Bradley brought to the team. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Dion Waiters, Rajon Rondo and JR Smith may all be relied upon at some point to step up and get this team to their ultimate goal.
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