The NBA continues to release information on procedures surrounding the return of the 2019-20 season set to kick off on July 30th. However, there has been news recently about a conference call between 80-100 players, led by Kyrie Irving, with talks centering on whether or not the return of the NBA would serve as a distraction to the ongoing protests surrounding police brutality against black people in America. Avery Bradley of the Lakers was reported to be one of the other leaders of the call, while Dwight Howard has also been reported to be prominent.
Howard recently released a statement about the ongoing discussion between the players, releasing another one today trying to clarify the players’ thoughts and how halting the resumption of the season is not the goal.
Lakers' Dwight Howard in statement to @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium: "Our main objective is to raise awareness and gain transparency…Many of our fellow players are afraid to voice their concerns and are continuing to follow along with what they believe they have to." pic.twitter.com/dfTlSPBwpV
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 17, 2020
If any one of us chooses to sit, it has nothing to do with another player’s right to play. Not once has any of us told one of our fellow brethren not to go to the Orlando Bubble Experiment and we stressed that in our meetings.
We spoke about our individual stances which, again, as men and women with free speech we are entitled to do so. We stressed the importance of unity amongst us even if we have a difference in opinion.
This has been our position, but as always, judgments and opinions were formed based on bits and pieces of information that were put out.
Many have pushed back against Kyrie Irving’s comments that were reported from this conference call and ongoing discussion. Howard specifically defends Irving here, saying he is “100% correct” and that Irving basically just wants “transparency in order to make sound decisions”. From Howard’s recent statement, it seems as though that many reporters overreacted to the initial reports surrounding the conference call, with some going straight to condemning Irving for even speaking up about an issue that is very valid to be concerned about.
We’ll continue to update you on Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley’s statuses for the return of the NBA season, as well as any other ongoing developments regarding the Lakers and the NBA.