Lakers' Howard: 'No basketball' until reform
The Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing an NBA championship when the season resumes next month, but Center Dwight Howard said the team must do it without him.
Howard told CNN on Saturday that given the riots following the death of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police last month, it is now not the time for games. Floyd was African American like Howard, and Howard said the black community must now be the first.
"Basketball or entertainment time are not needed at this moment and will only be a distraction," began his long statement.
It continued: "I would rather do nothing than win my very first NBA championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger championship that is just too good to miss. What better time than now that we could concentrate on. " our families?
"This is a rare opportunity that I think we as a community should take full advantage of. When have we ever had so much time to sit with our families? This is where our unity begins. At home! With family !! European colonization has us ours rich history and we still have to sit down and find out. The fewer distractions, the more we can do to rediscover ourselves. Nations come from families. Black / African Americans are not a nation or a nationality. that our families will become their own nations. No basketball until we solve things. "
The NBA plans to end the coronavirus season and playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. The training camp takes place from July 9th to 29th before the season starts again on July 30th.
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving reportedly campaigned for other players on Friday to suspend the game's scheduled resumption in protest of racism, several media reports.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Irving said in a conference call to more than 80 NBA players, "I don't support going to Orlando. I'm not systematic racism and (explicit). Something smells a bit rotten. Me am willing to give up everything i have (for social reforms). "
34-year-old Howard is in his 16th NBA season. He is a three-time NBA defensive player of the year and an eight-time all-star.
His Lakers teammate, LeBron James, was a supporter of the return-to-play plan.
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