Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard has spoken out about the upcoming NBA return next July. The league announced its plan to resume play in Orlando, July 31 being the target date to restart everything. However, given the recent events in the US, not all players all convinced going to Walt Disney World is the best choice for them right now.
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving held an 80-player Zoom call on Friday, where he explained why he didn't consider that playing amid national protest was the best thing to do. Just like Kyrie, more players expressed their doubts about the return of the league.
Moreover, Howard said in a statement that he believes the NBA return would be a distraction from the issues that really matter in America. He clarifies that he'd like to play again, but not under these conditions.
"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 to (sic) 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."
Howard believes there are other priorities now and there is no doubt that the league returning will change something for the public who are trying to make a change against racial injustice. However, players like LeBron James, D-12's teammate, believes he can still make an impact on the Black Lives Matter movement even if he's still playing.