Despite the pushback from star players like Kyrie Irving, LeBron James is leading the call for NBA action to resume as planned. The amount of pull King James has in the NBA is no secret and at least one player believes that if LeBron builds it, they will come.
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) June 14, 2020
Patrick Beverly isn’t alone in his sentiments. There are several other players who believe that we can continue to push for racial equality without sacrificing the remainder of the NBA season. Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers believes that finishing the season will be beneficial to the BLM movement as it means players getting paid more and having more money to donate to the cause. “With this money, you could help out even more people and continue to give more importantly your time and energy towards the BLM movement”, said Rivers. He continued saying “I love Kyrie’s passion for helping this movement. It’s admirable and inspiring…we can do both. We can play and we can help change the way black lives are lived. I think we have to! But canceling or boycotting return doesn’t do that in my opinion. Guys want to play AND provide help and change!!!”
We all know LeBron is advocating for change and wants to do what he can to help put an end to racial injustice, but he also has a legacy on the line and he’s fighting against Father Time. Speaking of LeBron’s legacy, let’s take a minute to remember the moment it got saved by one shot.
The Heat went on to tie the series 3-3 and win game 7 to clinch back-to-back NBA Championships. Who’s to say what LeBron’s career trajectory would have looked liked had Ray Allen not made one of the most clutch shots in his career (and he has no shortage of clutch moments on his resume)? Here we are, seven years and another NBA championship later, and LeBron is still hungry for more despite the coronavirus pandemic and the ever-looming racial tension.
I’m not sure where I stand on the dispute concerning the continuation of the 2020 NBA season. The fan in me really wants to see them play it out, but I understand where Kyrie is coming from. Kyrie certainly isn’t the only one with reservations either. LeBron’s fellow Laker Dwight Howard was quoted saying “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 players, but we have resources at hand the majority of our community don’t have. And the smallest distraction for them can start a trickle-down effect that may never stop.” Howard went on to say “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.”
It’s a tough situation for the players and the league to be in. At this point, I feel like I’m leaning towards the sentiments of players like Kyrie and Dwight Howard. This is a golden opportunity for LeBron to say that he’s not going to “shut up and dribble” and that he can be an even greater leader off the court. The NBA may be the hero fans need, but not the one they deserve right now.
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