It’s bad enough for the Los Angeles Lakers that guard Avery Bradley opted out of participating in the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season.
But it’s been even worse that, according to the Los Angeles Times, the rest of the team has been unable to get a hold of him lately.
“The decision did not come as a surprise to Bradley’s teammates, many of whom had not been able to reach him in the past week,” wrote Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner. “Bradley told ESPN on June 16 that he would like to see the NBA commit to real change to address racial inequity both in the league and society. He was part of a coalition started by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving that urged players to think about whether or not they wanted to play in Florida for the resumption of the season.”
Bradley has been a key contributor this season for the Purple and Gold. His ability to harass opposing guards, especially as they advance the ball up court, has helped the Lakers establish the third-best defensive rating in the NBA.
Bradley, who has a career 3-point shooting accuracy of 36.4 percent, also picked up his outside shooting efficiency in the last several weeks of the season before play was suspended.
The Lakers are hoping to sign J.R. Smith to replace Bradley on the roster. Whether Smith signs or doesn’t sign, Bradley’s absence is also an opportunity for other guards on the team to step up and play a bigger role in the Lakers’ run at a championship.