Questions surround the NBA as its attempt a comeback with the bubble experiment in Orlando. All eyes are on a handful of teams vying to contend for the championship, including the Lakers. One of their players, Avery Bradley, made a somewhat controversial decision regarding the bubble. It’s led to a discussion about what might happen if the Lakers win this year’s title.
Avery Bradley’s NBA career and 2019-20 season so far
According to Basketball-Reference, the 29-year-old has nine years of experience in the NBA. At the 2010 NBA draft, the Boston Celtics drafted Bradley with the 19th overall pick in the first round. The shooting guard spent the first seven seasons of his career in Boston.
For the 2019-20 season, Bradley landed in LA with the Lakers. Prior to the shutdown, he was averaging 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Bradley is a valuable role player for the team. While the brunt of the scoring duties falls on the shoulders of players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Bradley provides the team with solid shooting and great defensive capability in the backcourt.
Bradley’s decision to sit out the 2020 season
With the NBA’s return looming, Bradley made a tough decision. ESPN reported that Bradley decided to sit out the 2020 summer comeback planned by the league. The decision wasn’t easy for Bradley, but it came down to minimizing risks to both his health and the health of his family:
“As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family … And so, at a time like this, I can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk … As promised also, I will use this time away to focus on the formation of projects to help strengthen my communities.”
Anyone could understand Bradley’s position. While there’s no doubt some of his teammates and Laker fans disappointed by his decision, you can’t fault him for putting family above all else. His decision did lead to one interesting question about the ramifications of what happens if the team is successful in his absence.
The question Avery Bradley must answer
Bradley represents an important piece of this Lakers team at the top of the Western Conference standings. The team is built to win, and anything less will come as a disappointment. So the question is if the team wins, will Bradley get a championship ring?
CBS Sports reported that the answer is yes. Bradley said general manager Rob Pelinka told him they’ll award him a ring if they win the 2020 NBA title. But will he accept it? To that end, Bradley was non-committal:
“Will I accept the ring? I’m neither here nor there about it … I am 10 years in this league. The physical possession of a ring doesn’t make me feel like more or less of a person. I play basketball strictly for enjoyment and to add to the support of my family. Supporting them is exactly what I’m doing right now.”
The truth is Bradley sounds like he couldn’t care less about receiving a ring. It’s a fair sentiment. He’s living through a global pandemic, doing the best he can to take care of his family. Bradley made a tough choice to help keep them safe. Whether he receives a ring for something that may not even happen is likely way down his list of priorities right now.