The roller coaster of hope and emotion continues to ride, as each passing day seems to change the direction of the NBA and it’s hopeful return at the end of July. Ed Davis gave his thoughts towards the matter in an interview with Alex Kennedy from HoopsHype.
Davis, who has always seemed to be a really intelligent, thoughtful, and intellectual person, raised some valid points as to why the NBA should return in July. Davis’ comments came a few days after the NBA’s conference call on Friday, of which Kyrie Irving’s comments and ideas towards not finishing the season took most of the spotlight. Although it seemed like some of Irving’s comments were taken a bit out of context, other NBA players pushed back against that idea and voiced their opinions of wanting, and needing to finish the season, with Ed Davis joining them.
Davis mentions as one of the reasons he thinks the NBA should return being the impact it will have on the future of the NBA, including the upcoming generation of players like his teammate Donovan Mitchell.
At the same time, I know a lot of guys are iffy about playing. But it’s sort of bigger than that because if we don’t play, I honestly think there’s a chance that we won’t play next year. I just had a 2-month-old so of course I don’t want to go away for two months, but it’s just something I feel that we have to do to save the league and for all the people who came behind us and all the people who are going to come after us. This is coming from a 10-year vet; I’m on the back end of my career and I’ve made enough money, so it’s not really about the money. It’s more about the future guys – a guy like Donovan Mitchell, who is looking at a $160 million dollar contract but he might only get $90 million if the cap drops.
In response to a question about Kyrie Irving’s stance to not play in order to keep focus on social awareness and the Black Lives Matter movement, Davis also had some valid counterpoints.
I’m looking at it like: With where we’re at as a Black culture and how we’re so far behind when it comes to black people and the wealth we have, the money we have, us missing the rest of this season (and possibly next year), we’re talking about billions and billions of dollars for the black community because a lot of guys in the NBA are black men from the inner cities and things like that. So, the way I look at it, we have to play for that simple fact. I saw Stephen Jackson say that we can’t play because it’s going to be a distraction. Yeah, it’s going to be a distraction, but we can take that money – those billions and billions of dollars – that we’re going to make and pour it back in the community. You can look at it like that – that us losing out on that money would hurt generations of people.
For me, I make $5 million a year and I’m taking a 25-percent pay cut [due to COVID-19], so I’m losing around $30,000 every two weeks. That’s hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that’s what is creating generational wealth and that’s what is really going to help the black community. I don’t know if guys are looking at it like that. But that’s just my perspective and the reason why I think we need to play. I get it, we need to take a stand; we got to do this, we got to do that. But you got to have money to do some of these things and make some of these things happen. [Change] isn’t just gonna happen because of us boycotting and not playing and shutting it down. And then, we’re really gonna be set back.
Davis once again vouched for the “non-superstars” or the typical NBA role or bench players that haven’t made hundreds of millions playing basketball.
It’s easy for a guy like Kyrie [Irving] to say that he’ll give everything back [for social reform], but would he really give everything back? It’s easy for Dwight Howard to say that we don’t need to play when he’s in Atlanta in his $20 million mansion. But there are other guys on the rosters who need this money to provide for whoever they’re taking care of and things like that.
Obviously, it’s a tough situation; we’re in a pandemic. But this is when we really have to stick together and really use our platform and really make a difference. I think that we have so many resources through the NBA and working with the NBA, that’s how we’re gonna make things happen. Taking a stand and not playing, I just don’t think that’s going to better the situation. I guess it might be a little distraction, but it’s on us to turn that distraction into a positive thing.
When asked whether he thinks the season will return or not, Davis gave a pretty straight-forward answer:
Yeah, I’m about 99.9 percent sure that we’ll finish the season. I know a couple guys from the Jazz have concerns, but in our group chat when we talk, everybody’s on board and we’re ready to play. We’re hoping that we can start doing contact stuff soon, so the team I play on, we’re ready to go. I don’t know how it is for some of these other teams. But I’ve played with so many different guys in the NBA and I talk to so many different guys and, for the most part, guys want to play. Obviously, you got some guys that, for different reasons, might not want to play. For some guys, there’s a lot on the line. You got some guys who are in a contract year. If I’m Jordan Clarkson or Donovan [Mitchell], I might not want to play, just for the simple fact that I had a good year and I’m looking for a contract extension, so why would I risk getting hurt? But, at the same time, the reason why we’re in this situation is because we’re in a pandemic. This sh** doesn’t happen often, and that’s life. It could be worse. It could always be worse. But sh** happens in life. You just got to put your hard hat on and get to work.
Davis mentions in here specifically that Jordan Clarkson and Donovan Mitchell “might not want to play” which probably hints that they’ve talked about that as a team. But it does sound like as a team, the Jazz are ready to play, at least according to Ed Davis.
The last bit of the interview probably focused on the most important matter of business, which was Ed Davis’ real emphasis on changing the world we live in, and inspiring a better future, of which he thinks the NBA can help with by returning in July.
I’m all for coming back and having everyone take a small percentage of their pay and put it in a fund that goes to the movement. It can be used to help fight police brutality and things like that. That’s where my mind is at. I don’t think sitting out for a year is going to fix it because it’s a broken system. We’re dealing with racist cops and cops that are not really qualified; we’re dealing with cops that have 10 different complaints against them yet they still have jobs. That’s not right! So, yeah, it’s going to take time and it’s going to take a lot of people. I feel like the NBA [can help].