Though NBA teams are expected to assemble in July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida where they will play games, practice and live; Irving, and now Howard, have expressed that they don’t believe that resuming the season would be a good idea.
CNN’s Jill Martin shared a statement from Howard on his position via Twitter:
“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 [that the] 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.”
Dwight Howard statement, provided by his agent, to CNN: pic.twitter.com/sk9uSSHlpp— Jill Martin (@ByJillMartin) June 14, 2020
NBA Player Association President Chris Paul and Vice President CJ McCollum; along with players Donovan Mitchell, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, and Avery Bradley, were also among those in favor of halting the season following an 80-player call of NBA and WNBA player on Friday (June 13) night.
LeBron James, Austin Rivers, Jared Dudley and Kyle Kuzma are among those who are in favor of resuming the season and making a social difference that way.
Players reportedly have the personal choice to come to Orlando and will not be penalized if they choose not to, however, they will not be paid.
At this time, nothing has been finalized. NBA training camps are still on track to open in the coming weeks. Camps are slated to begin July 9-11 with the regular season beginning on July 30.