Just when it looked the NBA was ready to reboot the season, another obstacle was put in the way. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Kyrie Irving and a number of other players expressed displeasure with starting the season back up on a Friday conference call. This goes against players like Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who reportedly wants to return.
One of the concerns that were brought was that many players would like to focus on activism given the current climate in the country. However, according to The Atheltic’s Sam Amick, James believes that playing won’t affect his ability to help:
So with so many fellow players focused on those very issues, and wondering aloud whether the magnitude of this Black Lives Matter moment means they might be better off making a difference at home, why wouldn’t he join this particular chat that was led by his old co-star who is now a vice president for the National Basketball Players Association, the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving?
Because sources say James, whose Lakers have as good a chance at the title as any of the 22 teams invited to Walt Disney World, believes playing in Orlando won’t deter his ability to continue inspiring change.
He wants to keep making his mark off the court. He wants to play basketball. And as has always been the case, he clearly believes he can do both at the same time.
James skipped out on the specific call but there’s no doubt he’ll make his voice heard if he hasn’t already.
James at Odds With Teammates?
One important thing to watch is the fact that Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard were reportedly among the players going against continuing the season. The Lakers appeared to be a united front, but it looks like not everybody agrees. In fact, Kyle Kuzma and Jared Dudley disregarded the notion that canceling the season was a good idea.
Some of us want to hoop and compete don’t get that twisted…. https://t.co/GoRnvy6rzN
— kuz (@kylekuzma) June 12, 2020
Facts! What time is this zoom call today! I’m on it! https://t.co/5IDd1mKRv6
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) June 12, 2020
If Bradley is actually a strong opponent to continuing the season, that could cause problems for the Lakers. He should have every right to sit out, but he’s a key role player for the team. If Los Angeles doesn’t have him or Howard, that could damage their depth.
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Danny Green Missed Call
In terms of league issues, Danny Green has been one of the most well-connected players on the Lakers. However, according to Mark Medina of USA Today, Green wasn’t able to get on the call.
“No. I tried to get on the call. I couldn’t get in,” Green said. “I didn’t know there was one [Friday]. I thought it was [Saturday]. So I don’t know about a call [Friday]. If there was one [Friday], I was invited to one and couldn’t get on. But somebody told me it was [Saturday]. There was a call today?”
Green has been vocal about the NBA returning, so it’s likely he would’ve been a voice against Irving’s ideas. Regardless, the plot has seriously thickened. This disagreement could pit the NBA’s best against each other.