Since the NBA has agreed to a 22-team restart, players have had different views on it. Not all players were in favor of a restart. Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving led a conference call on Friday saying the restart would distract the people from the ongoing protests against social issues. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James felt otherwise.
James was not a part of Friday’s call that involved around 80 people. Reports suggest he felt the league restarting would not affect his ability to fight against social injustice. But two other Lakers players, Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley were in support of Irving’s views.
Howard also released a statement on the same. On Sunday, His agent Charles Briscoe came out saying people have been taking the statement wrongly. Talking to ESPN, Briscoe said his client’s statement was about social injustice and not basketball and that Howard has not taken his decision whether he would play if and when the league resumes.
“The statement was about social injustice and racism,” Briscoe said. “Yet everybody is still talking about whether basketball should be played. He isn’t saying that basketball shouldn’t be. He’s just saying that you should not be taking attention away from what’s going on in the country to talk about basketball.
“Basketball is just a sport, at the end of the day. But what’s going on with people dying in the streets, that’s something real. That statement, it had nothing to do with sports. It had everything to do with racism and social injustice.”
While opinions with the Lakers team might be varying, there do not seem to be any issues within the team. ESPN quoted a Lakers player as saying there is “no divide” within the team.
As a team, the Lakers would be among the last ones who would be against the league’s restart. They have been among favorites to win the title this season. Prior to the league’s suspension, the Lakers were on top of the Western Conference with 49 wins. They had the best record in the league after Milwaukee Bucks.