Los Angeles Lakers don't know if Dwight Howard will join team for resumed NBA season

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Mark Medina discusses the difficult decision facing players to resume the season and how teams have reacted to the few who have already opted out.

USA TODAY

The Los Angeles Lakers opened their season hoping that Dwight Howard could restore his NBA career and help them win a league championship. Howard had the same ambitions.

Once the NBA halted the season on March 11 because of the novel coronavirus, though, varying circumstances have shifted priorities. In a conference call on Tuesday, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said that Howard has not yet informed the team on if he will play or sit when the NBA resumes its season July 30 in Orlando.

Melissa Rios, the mother of Howard’s 6-year-old son David, died on March 27 near her home in Calabasas, California, because of a seizure after fighting epilepsy. Amid protests the past month, begun after George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Howard has said publicly he may sit out the season to help ongoing efforts to address racial inequality.  

“We are going to continue to work through those extenuating…

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