Lakers player: 'No divide' within team regarding restart
Some Los Angeles Lakers players have downplayed concerns of a schism forming in the locker room in regards to resuming the NBA season this summer.
"(There's) no divide," an unnamed Laker told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
"Still have some time to figure things out as a league and as a team," another player said.
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving reportedly led a call Friday involving over 80 players across the league, during which he voiced his strong opposition to restarting the season at a quarantined environment at the Walt Disney World Resort in late July.
Irving reportedly cited the ongoing protests against racial injustice in the United States as one reason why players shouldn't agree to a return. That sentiment was apparently shared by multiple NBA players, including Lakers teammate Avery Bradley.
The Lakers were concerned that Howard was planning to sit out the rest of the 2019-20 campaign to support the protests, sources told McMenamin. Howard's agent, Charles Briscoe, insists the player has yet to make a decision.
"(Howard's) statement was about social injustice and racism," Briscoe told McMenamin. "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."