Hesitation About Resuming NBA Season From Ringless Lakers Should Speak Volumes


If you asked every player in the NBA what their number one career goal is, the most common answer would likely be winning a championship.

But for Los Angeles Lakers teammates Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley – guys who have yet to hold the Larry O’Brien trophy – gaining social justice and equality for the Black community are the bigger goals at the moment.

Player Uncertainty

Over the weekend, news broke of a video call led by Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving regarding the impending reset of the NBA season.


In it, many players – led by Irving and Bradley – voiced concerns that the NBA should cancel its plans to resume the season and rather focus on bringing change to the ongoing social issues at hand.

So even in the midst of a season in which the Lakers currently sit atop the Western Conference and are poised for a title run, Bradley and Howard agreed with the Nets point guard when he stated that basketball shouldn’t be the priority right now. Instead suggesting that it would in fact be a “distraction” from social justice issues.

Calling for a Change

“I agree with Kyrie (Irving). Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment and will only be a distraction,” Howard said in an interview with CNN. “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.”

We need to be speaking about this more.

For Howard, a 2009 Finals appearance fell short of a storybook ending as his Orlando Magic suffered a 4-1 loss to the late Kobe Bryant-led Lakers squad. Eleven years and five different teams later, the eight-time All-NBA center has revived his career in his second go-around with Los Angeles, now playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

But Howard is looking at the bigger picture. Even though this is his best chance for a championship in years, Howard is prioritizing the fight for equality above the game of basketball. Right now, the 16-year veteran remains undecided on whether or not he will even play.

And after Bradley bounced around the league the last few seasons, this too is his greatest chance at an NBA championship in a number of years. But his name being at the forefront of the push against the NBA’s return makes this much clear: there are things bigger than basketball, and the league will have to listen to all of its players before coming to any final decision.

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About Sandeep Chandok

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