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NBA or social justice? 'I just feel like our people -- we need attention,' says LA Laker Dwight Howard

Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard tells Don Lemon that he'd love to win an NBA championship but that he feels racial injustice needs to be prioritized over restarting the season.

Posted: Jun 16, 2020 5:41 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2020 5:41 PM

The 2020 NBA season is set to resume on July 31, but right now Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard thinks there are more important matters at hand.

Following George Floyd's death and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, Howard says his focus is on the social change the protests have been calling for rather than basketball.

"And I just feel like our people -- we need attention," Howard told CNN's Don Lemon. "I really feel like our world is hurting right now.

"So much stuff going on in our world, man, and I just feel like we don't need to get distracted by anything. I would definitely want to play and win a championship, but I don't want anything to distract us from really what's going on in our world.

"It's hurting. It's hurting me. It's hurting my family. It's hurting all our families, and everybody is feeling it right now. I just think that we need to focus on what's going on."

READ: NBA player reveals he was sexually abused at a young age

'No basketball until we get things resolved'

Next month, 22 of the 30 NBA teams are scheduled to congregate in Orlando, Florida to finish the current season which was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, a coalition of NBA players -- led by Brooklyn Nets point-guard Kyrie Irving -- have voiced their uncertainty about committing to the league's plan for restarting.

Having spoken to Irving himself, Howard released a statement on Saturday outlining his belief that the NBA and other forms of entertainment are an unneeded distraction from more important issues the US is facing.

Howard stated that as much as he would like to resume the NBA season, he feels that the opportunity for unity among "my people" is a bigger priority and that there should be "no basketball till we get things resolved."

When the season was suspended in March, Howard's Lakers sat atop the Western Conference and, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davies, have an excellent chance to win an NBA title this season.

But despite being on the cusp of his first NBA championship, continuing the push for a more equal society remains the 34-year-old's priority.

"Going to L.A. for me has been the best thing in my life," the gold medal winner at the 2008 Olympics said.

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"I'm very appreciative of just being on that team playing with LeBron, playing with AD. Just representing the Lakers again, that has meant the world to me. I just personally have seen so much pain from our people.

"This is about our people right now, and we need attention right now. I don't want to make this about basketball. I don't want to be defiant and try to cause any type of controversy. Because I love my team. I love the NBA. I love basketball. I just think our people need our attention right now."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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