NBA

Dwight Howard confirms he will play when NBA season resumes

By Sports Desk July 07, 2020

Dwight Howard has confirmed he will play for the Los Angeles Lakers when the NBA season resumes later this month.

The 2019-20 campaign will recommence on July 30 with a 22-team tournament in Orlando, Florida following the coronavirus-enforced break.

Last month, Lakers center Howard said the return of basketball would "only be a distraction" from the fight against social and racial injustice in the wake of protests across the world following the death of George Floyd in May.

Howard's agent admitted he was unsure if the eight-time All-Star would take part in the Orlando tournament, yet the Lakers center now intends to finish the campaign and donate the remainder of his salary to the 'Breathe Again' campaign.

"Yes, I will be joining my team in Orlando," Howard told CNN.

"I have a contractual obligation to my team-mates, to my fans, the Lakers, the organisation and everyone, but at the same time, I also have an obligation to my family and to my community.

"We will be getting a lot of work done here in Atlanta and around the nation as far as making sure people don't forget about us and what's going on in our communities."

On the importance of donating his salary, Howard added: "During my time in the bubble, I will use that time to talk about Breathe Again, and I'm going to use my salary - all the money, the paychecks that I'll be getting from going down in the bubble - to help push this Breathe Again [initiative], push our movement and just make sure that people don't forget about what's going on in our society."

The 49-14 Lakers have already confirmed their spot in the NBA post-season and have the best record in the Western Conference.

Howard, the first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, is yet to win a championship ring.

Related items

  • Thiago gets first Liverpool start for Merseyside derby Thiago gets first Liverpool start for Merseyside derby

    Thiago Alcantara has been handed his first Liverpool start for the Merseyside derby against Everton, while Sadio Mane is also in the line-up. 

    Liverpool duo Thiago and Mane tested positive for coronavirus prior to the international break but after a hopeful update from manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of the game, they were both been named in the starting XI. 

    Midfielder Thiago, who signed from Bayern Munich, made a stunning debut off the bench for the Premier League champions in their 2-0 win at Chelsea on September 20 but has not played since. 

    Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson are also back in the team at Goodison Park as part of four changes from the Liverpool side humbled in a 7-2 loss at Aston Villa last time out. 

    Naby Keita was ruled out for the game due to a fitness issue, with Diogo Jota, Georginio Wijnaldum and Joe Gomez dropping to the substitutes. 

    League leaders Everton bring in Allan and Andre Gomes to replace Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson from the team who beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-2 on October 3. 

    Everton have won all four of their games to start the Premier League season but are winless in 19 top-flight meetings with rivals Liverpool, their previous victory coming in October 2010. 

  • Watzke's warning: Lights out threat for clubs if Bundesliga grinds to a halt Watzke's warning: Lights out threat for clubs if Bundesliga grinds to a halt

    Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has warned "lights could go out" for a number of clubs in Germany if the Bundesliga season is halted. 

    The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on football has been such that clubs face losses due to the absence of significant revenue streams, such as gate receipts. 

    Dortmund recorded a €43.9million loss for the 2019-20 financial year, pinning the cause for that outcome on the coronavirus outbreak. 

    Since posting those results in August, the new season has begun in Germany, with small numbers of supporters allowed back into stadiums. 

    Should the league have to be paused again, however, as it was from March until May this year, then Watzke fears the impact could see some clubs in danger of collapse. 

    He told German newspaper Bild: "I think that we can manage this season - at least most of the clubs, if there are no more interruptions." 

    Watzke insists clubs cannot operate at their current level for much longer. 

    "It is clear that this can't carry on forever economically," he said. 

    "Should there be another major interruption, then some of the lights could go out." 

    Dortmund faced a trip to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with around 6,000 spectators expected to be in the stadium. 

  • Ronaldo hits back at suggestion he broke Italy's coronavirus rules Ronaldo hits back at suggestion he broke Italy's coronavirus rules

    Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at suggestions he broke coronavirus rules by returning to Italy after testing positive while away with the Portugal squad. 

    The 35-year-old had a positive test result prior to Wednesday's 3-0 Nations League victory over Sweden and chose to return to Turin. 

    The Juventus star had joined up with Portugal for their October fixtures after the Serie A champions had created a 'bubble' at the team hotel, with two members of staff having tested positive for coronavirus. 

    According to reports from Italy, Ronaldo returned two negative COVID-19 tests but needed one more before being officially granted permission to leave fiduciary isolation and travel to his homeland. 

    Juve confirmed Ronaldo had returned to Turin on a medical flight authorised by the competent health authorities, but Italy's minister for sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, told Rai Radio 1 there was a chance the trip had breached regulations if there had been no specific permission granted by health authorities. 

    However, speaking on Friday, the former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward insisted he has been abiding by the rules throughout. 

    "Thank you for all the messages of support," he said in an Instagram video. 

    "My family is on another floor of the house; we can't have contact. But I'm asymptomatic, I can't wait to get back on the pitch to play. 

    "I'm always indoors, sometimes sunbathing, [which is] also to pass the time. 

    "I'm respecting the protocol. I haven't violated it as has been said – that's a lie. I returned from Portugal because my team and I wanted to respect all the procedures. 

    "I returned to Italy via air ambulance and I've had no contact with anyone, not even in Turin."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.