Lakers' LeBron James now seems open to playing games without fans amid fears over potential spread of coronavirus.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has changed course on his thoughts about playing games without fans in attendance, as there is now a very real possibility that the NBA will take such measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. When asked about the possibility of playing in an empty arena on Tuesday, James responded, "When I was asked the question of would you play without no fans, I had no idea that there was actually a conversation going on behind closed doors about the particular virus."
"Obviously I would be very disappointed not having the fans because that's what I play for - I play for my family, I play for my fans. But at the same time you gotta listen to the people that's keeping tracking of what's going on. If they feel like it's best for the safety of the players, the safety of the franchise, the safety of the league to mandate that - that's something we'd all listen to."
In case you missed it, here's what LeBron had to say about the situation following Friday's victory over the Milwaukee Bucks:
"We play games without the fans? Nah, it’s impossible."
"I ain’t playing," James said of any potential NBA game without fans. "I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates. I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do."
The NBA has not yet barred fans from attending games, but they are planning to limit locker room access to only players and essential team personnel. According to ESPN, the NBA has scheduled a conference call for Wednesday with team owners and governors to discuss next steps in the growing coronavirus crisis.
The Lakers will host the Brooklyn Nets tonight at Staples Center on Tuesday night.