Howard decides to play for Lakers

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    CENTER Dwight Howard said Monday night that he will play for the Los Angeles Lakers when the NBA season resumes later this month.

    Howard had reportedly been undecided about playing due to several circumstances.

    The mother of his six-year-old son died in March following an epileptic seizure. Howard has also been one of the NBA’s most outspoken players about the social responsibilities the league’s players have in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

    Howard said in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday night that he will play with the Lakers when the season resumes at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando on July 30. Currently in Georgia, Howard said he will donate his salary to help “push this ‘Breathe Again’ movement.”

    “I feel like we have a great opportunity, the Lakers do, to win the title this year,” Howard said. “Yes, I will be joining my team in Orlando, but during that time, we will begin a lot of work 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.”

    In other NBA news:

    The New Orleans Pelicans signed free agent guard Sindarius Thornwell for the reminder of the 2019-20 season on Monday.

    Thornwell’s signing comes on the same day that the club announced that forward Darius Miller (Achilles) won’t travel to Orlando, Fla., for the resumption of the season.

    The 30-year-old Miller hasn’t played this season since rupturing his right Achilles in August.

    He averages 6.0 points per game in 253 NBA games (28 starts), since joining New Orleans for the 2012-13 campaign in the first of two stints with the franchise.

    The Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association closed their practice facilities due to positive COVID-19 tests, the teams said on Monday, as the league prepared to resume its season.

    Teams across the league are expected to travel to Orlando, Florida, this week to restart the season, which was abruptly suspended in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with players living and playing at Walt Disney World.

    A spokesman for the Bucks confirmed the team had closed its practice facility after receiving test results from Friday but declined to comment further. The team’s first scrimmage in Florida is scheduled for July 23 against the San Antonio Spurs.

    Lakers coach Frank Vogel said last week that the team did not plan to replace Howard on the roster.

    “We’ve been in communication with Dwight the whole way,” Vogel said on July 1, the deadline for teams to add veterans with more than three years of NBA experience. “We don’t know what the level of participation is yet. He wants to play. We’re hopeful he’s able to join us. We’re hopeful and optimistic that he’ll be able to join us in Orlando.” – Field Level Media