UPDATED 6/14, 7:30 p.m. ET: According to ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin, Dwight Howard has not yet made a decision about whether he would play or not if/when the league does come back, despite voicing his concern about the league returning. This news came courtesy of his agent:
McMenamin also cited some of Howard's Lakers teammates (who were not named) as being optimistic about the prospect of reaching a consensus before training camp kicks off in late June:
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Dwight Howard believes that now isn’t the time to restart the NBA season in Orlando, citing the current social climate as a reason that the players shouldn’t return.
Howard joined the 80-player call Friday night, helmed by Kyrie Irving, where they discussed whether the season should resume. Howard’s agent issued a statement to CNN about the matter.
“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 too 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.”
Irving, Howard, and CJ McCollum have been vocally against restarting games amid nationwide protests. Clippers’ Lou Williams has also shared similar worries.
However, LeBron James has been spearheading the effort to restart the season and thinks players can both deal with social justice issues and basketball. Austin Rivers has also agreed with LeBron.
According to Yahoo Sports, rejoining the season is a personal decision for every player. If a player doesn’t go to Orlando, then he won’t be penalized—but he also won’t be paid. Thus, money will become an important factor in many players’ decisions to return. Additionally, players who don’t resume the season would mean that the current CBA would have to be renegotiated, which would lead to players receiving a smaller share of league revenue moving forward.