What, exactly, is Dwight Howard’s objection to the wearing of masks? Even considering how little we know about the nature of the novel coronavirus as a disease we do know that masks can be effective. But why are some NBA stars eschewing them?
That’s one question that was rolling around the NBA’s campus at Disney World as the league prepares for its restart at the end of July, one that figures to carry into September and perhaps even October for the Lakers and other teams.
“I don’t get it,” one assistant coach told Heavy.com. “It’s such a big issue that I don’t know why we are not all on the same page here, especially someone high-profile like Dwight.”
Howard was reacting to the response to a number of videos of him shown not wearing any kind of face covering. He told Heavy.com’s Brandon “Scoop” Robinson, “Somebody told on me.”
He also expressed over the weekend that he thought the wearing of facemasks while in the league’s so-called, “bubble” environment was overrated:
I personally don’t see a risk of us getting it during the time period that we’re here. We’re not allowed to leave the bubble. We’re only around each other every day. I just feel like it would be pointless for somebody to say anything.
I understand outside of this bubble, wearing a mask in different places is very important. So I wouldn’t say that it’s not needed. But since we are here in this bubble and we’re the only ones here, and the staff and everyone is getting tested every day, I feel like we’re safe.
NBA Is Solid in Defense of Masks
Many around the NBA disagree, however. Though the masks might not bring an enormous level of extra safety to NBA players, the feeling is that it can’t hurt to wear them, at the very least to show solidarity with the population in general, which is widely at least encourages if not required to wear masks.
“I can’t understand coming down here and not following all of the rules,” one assistant coach told Heavy.com. “Even if you think it does not matter, just put the mask on and make it easier on everyone who is here. We all do better that way. We would all like to have things back to normal again but normal is a long way aways. So let’s just make everything easy. Let’s wear masks. Let’s keep distance. These players have so much at stake. It’s not that hard.”
The league has much at stake with a smooth restart to the season. If bumps in the road occur, the league could nix not only this year’s CBA but all future CBAs, essentially putting the NBA on a downturn.
Howard Has a Big Role
Howard has been a vital part of the Lakers and if they’re going to have enough depth to be considered among the favorites to win the NBA title once the season gets restarted at the end of July, he will need to be a productive, active part of this reboot.
Can he do that while being a professed anti-vaccination guy in the middle of an acknowledged pandemic?
Howard admitted that vaccinations are not welcome in his household.
“That’s my personal opinion, but I don’t,” he said when asked about his belief in vaccinations.
The Lakers can overcome that kind of nonsense. As long as it stays relatively small.