Much of the excitement surrounding the NBA and its Players Association voting to approve a 22-team plan for a bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., has now given way to some concern and conversations about a much larger issue at hand.
Led by Kyrie Irving, and with significant involvement from Avery Bradley, a large group of players have reportedly questioned whether resuming the 2019-20 NBA season is the best course of action amid the current civil unrest and social climate.
Dwight Howard, who’s enjoyed a renaissance season in a return to the Los Angeles Lakers, was also said to be among those who shared a similar view to Irving.
Howard has since gone on the record with his support of Irving and belief that the NBA season should not resume in Orlando or otherwise, via a statement provided to Jill Martin of CNN:
“I agree with Kyrie (Irving). Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction. Sure it might not distract us the players, but we have resources at hand majority of our community don’t have. And the smallest distraction for them, can start a trickle down effect that may never stop. Especially with the way the climate is now.
“I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that’s just to (sic) beautiful to pass up. What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families?
“This is a rare opportunity that, I believe, we as a community should be taking full advantage of. When have we ever had this amount of time to sit and be with our families? This is where our Unity starts. At home! With Family!! European Colonization stripped us of our rich history, and we have yet to sit down and figure us out. The less distractions, the more we can put into action into rediscovering ourselves. Nations come out of families. Black/African American is not a Nation or Nationality. It’s time Our Families became their own Nations. No Basketball till we get things resolved.”
While Bradley and Howard are among those questioning whether or not the NBA should return, fellow Lakers teammate LeBron James is not part of that faction. James reportedly has confidence he can both be part of the season resuming and inspire changes off the court. Jared Dudley and Kyle Kuzma have also voiced their desire to restart the season.
For now the NBA appears to remain on scheduled to have teams open training camps in the coming weeks and travel to enter the bubble by early July.