The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put a halt on professional sports for multiple months as leagues continue to try and find ways to resume their respective games in a timely manner. Although the virus has presented an untenable situation for everyone involved, there has been optimism recently as more proposal have rolled in to restart live sports.
The NBA in particular has been hard at work trying to recoup some of the revenue lost due to their hiatus on the 2019-20 regular season. Commissioner Adam Silver has entertained an array of options, and appears set on having the NBA return to the court at Walt Disney World.
Although actually resuming games seems to still be more than one month away, teams have begun the process of re-opening their training facilities which has given players an opportunity to get some work in during quarantine.
Lack of proper equipment and trainers was a problem when things were shut down, so this is a big step in a return to normalcy. However, Dwight Howard is one player who is not yet back at the Los Angeles Lakers training facility as he recently explained why he remains in Georgia, via Mirjam Swanson of the Southern California News Group:
“I’m in Georgia right now,” Howard said Friday afternoon on a Zoom video conference with reporters. “Probably will stay here right now until everything is cleared up, until we can leave. I would love to go back to L.A. and start working out with the team and everything like that, but I’ve been training here and once everything opens up, then I can travel on to L.A. and start working.”
The mother of Howard’s six-year-old son, Melissa Rios, unfortunately died due to causes unrelated to the pandemic, but it’s been even more reason for Howard to remain in Georgia with his family.
As things currently stand, travel is a risky proposition, so Howard is making the right call to wait to come back until the situation improves.
Howard has been one of the major surprises of the season as the big man has made the most of his second stint in Los Angeles, embracing a bench role and providing rebounding and interior defense. His return was met with heavy skepticism from fans and analysts alike, but his presence has been a major boost for the Lakers.