The Rush: Baron Davis on whether to play, or not to play, in the NBA bubble

Former NBA star Baron Davis Skypes in from a socially responsible distance to discuss whether the NBA’s plan to restart the season in Disneyworld will work, and if he was still playing would he play in the Orlando bubble. Davis also  shares his plans for Juneteenth. PLUS: Baron is the host of Business Inside The Game, a series of conversations about building and creating change for the next generation.

Video Transcript

BARON DAVIS: If you don't want to play, don't play. Wherever you have the biggest platform at this point in your life, take advantage of that platform and use your platform for change.


Hey, what's up, guys? I'm with NBA star and host of "Business Inside the Game," Baron Davis. B, what's good with you, bro?

BARON DAVIS: What's up, my dog? How are you doing? What's going on?

JARED QUAY: I'm doing all right, man. Just trying to survive this quarantine, man. So the NBA's supposed to be coming back. How does that sound to you about the Orlando bubble NBA league?

BARON DAVIS: As a player, you know, definitely we'll go back and forth, right? I don't think that there is no real true definitive 100%, you know, not a risk. You know what I mean in playing? But it's a tough question to answer. But, you know, basketball-wise I mean, I'm itching to play basketball now. So you know, it's hard to be away from the game like that, especially when, you know, it's the thing that you love and the thing that you connect to most.

JARED QUAY: Yeah, man. It's going to be different for them. So the proposed plan is you're going to get a lot of freedoms, and you're also going to lose a lot. Like, technically they have a band that's going to track them to know where they're at.

But at the same time, you're in Disney World. I mean, you can go watch movies that haven't even came out yet like "Black Widow." They're going to have a bunch of people around and build a community. It's fun. But like, would you agree to wear a bracelet if you can get all those extra perks that Disneyland is giving-- or Disney world?

BARON DAVIS: Of course.


All the rides you can get-- are you kidding me, man? It is Disney World. You know, just be exciting to see them, that they're all going to go back and play. And, you know, they have a great opportunity to use that platform to, you know, rally the world and continue this fight, and continue to protest, and continue to bring awareness.

JARED QUAY: Well, this championship, technically the 2020 championship, do you think it's still going to hold its weight when someone says I was the 2020 championship in a condensed season? Or is this going to be one of those ones that's always kind of like, eh? Because it is never going to fully be championship?

BARON DAVIS: A championship's a championship, man.

JARED QUAY: Yeah? You think so?

BARON DAVIS: A championship's a championship. I think, you know, obviously there's going to be, you know, some type of asterisk or some like that next to it as it would be like a lockout or something like that. But, you know, once they get back, the championship is a championship. And, you know, there's nothing like having your team name and your name in them books because they will, when the season get back to next year, be having a ring ceremony for you.

JARED QUAY: Damn. I know that you're the host of "Business Inside the Game," which is a series of conversations about building and creating change for the next generation. Can you tell me more about that?

BARON DAVIS: Once I saw the ESPN "30 for 30 Broke," you know, I was like, man, well that's not my friends or like my class of, you know, NBA dudes that I came in. Like, they're actually all doing good and really well. And so I wanted to build a platform that, you know, instead of carrying this negative message, we started to project all the positive things that athletes would doing from the business standpoint, you know, and then using that as an opportunity to connect with all the young entrepreneurs, investors, and people who are looking for change, right, and looking to, you know, take a chance on an athlete transitioning to media, an athlete and transitioning to venture. But also "Business Inside the Game" is using the business inside of your game to understand the business of the industry and what you bring to the table.

JARED QUAY: That's big, man. Especially because like right now people-- like, athletes do have a loud voice if it's used in the right way. And I know right now there's a lot of players that are actually thinking about sitting out this season. Is that the best way to get impact right now?

BARON DAVIS: For me, it's if you don't want to play, don't play, right? If you want to use your platform for change, use platform for change. Wherever you have the biggest platform at this point in your life, take advantage of that platform to use your platform for change.

JARED QUAY: Hmm. Last but not least, today is Juneteenth. And for the first time, this feels like we should celebrate it hard, man. Are you doing anything for Juneteenth?

BARON DAVIS: For me, it's like an opportunity to celebrate-- us celebrate our culture, you know, to celebrate the past, our journey, and just really appreciate, you know, being alive, being here, and knowing that, you know, there were far worse conditions that we were living in than today. And my stance is, you know, to serve those of the past and to make sure that they're smiling and that not rolling over in their grave.

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