LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Los Angeles Lakers plan to reward guard Avery Bradley, who opted out of the NBA’s restart, with a championship ring this season if the franchise is able to capture its 17th NBA title.
"Yes, [Lakers general manager] Rob Pelinka made me aware of the Lakers offering me a ring if they win the championship," Bradley told Yahoo Sports via phone Tuesday afternoon. "It’s a very kind gesture on their part."
Bradley opted out of participating in the 2019-20 season resumption at Walt Disney World on June 23 because of health concerns related to his 6-year-old son. Of all the players who have decided to forego the season restart in Orlando, Bradley is the lone player to do so from a legitimate championship contender.
But he said he has no regrets.
"To be honest, I don’t struggle with not being in Orlando," he told Yahoo Sports. "I am at a point in my life where I have learned not to make decisions until I am sure of what I am doing."
The 6-foot-3 defensive specialist averaged 8.6 points and shot 36.4 percent from beyond the arc in 49 games for the Lakers this season. The team has filled his roster spot with shooting guard J.R. Smith.
Bradley has not won a championship in his NBA career.
"In regards to my team, I am positive they will be fine," Bradley told Yahoo Sports. "A championship is meaningful in this league. That energy alone will see them through and I support them."
Even with the absence of Bradley, the LeBron James-led Lakers are the favorites (+250 at BetMGM) to be the last team standing as they get set to resume the season as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
And if the Lakers claim the Larry O'Brien Trophy, Bradley will have another tough decision to make.
"Will I accept the ring? I’m neither here nor there about it," Bradley told Yahoo Sports. "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."
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