The Lakers will now reportedly return to the court as early as Saturday to play their Game 5 against the Trail Blazers. The series is currently at 3-1, as the Lakers will look to finish the series off. However, it obviously wasn’t an easy road to return to the court, as many in the NBA were conflicted about the idea of continuing the season in light of the terrible police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It all started with the Milwaukee Bucks boycotting their Wednesday game against the Orlando Magic, resulting in all games Wednesday and Thursday being postponed and the NBA players having an emotional meeting Wednesday night. Many reports came out of the meeting, including the Lakers and Clippers initially wanting to end the season, with LeBron James even becoming upset enough to leave the meeting all together with the Lakers and Clippers following.
Although it seemed that LeBron really was in support of the season ending, he reportedly changed his mind. However, it has now been reported by Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the LA Times that two Lakers were actually the most prominent in wanting the season to end. Those two players are Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo, with it not being a surprise that the two would be opposed.
Here’s Ganguli and Turner’s reporting on the subject:
After a night’s sleep, the Lakers met again as a team. Players from other teams filed into the general meeting space late Thursday morning and waited for the Lakers to join them.
Howard and Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, who is from Louisville, Ky., where Taylor was killed, had been the two most prominent players in favor of not finishing the season. That group felt they would better serve the community on the front lines.
But more of them wanted to play with so much on the line financially and the ability to continue having a platform to speak; not to mention the chance to win a championship.
Howard’s uncle was actually the district attorney associated with the tragic police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, while Rajon Rondo is a proud Louisville citizen, the location of the killing of Breonna Taylor by police. Although all NBA players have obviously been emotionally affected by the tragic events of this year and years prior, these two have personal connections to these cases.
The two obviously have decided to continue playing, as they decided to be unified with their teammates and fellow NBA players in their decision to continue.