LeBron James has declared that he will not be playing any games if the NBA prevents fans from attending due to coronavirus concerns.
LeBron James is not on board with playing any games without the fans, which may be the reality for all NBA teams due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, it was reported that the NBA had warned teams to prepare themselves for the possibility of playing in empty stadiums, amid the growing panic surrounding the epidemic. The news did not sit well with LeBron, who declared that he would not be playing if there were no fans in attendance.
Following the Lakers' victory over the Bucks on Friday, LeBron spoke to reporters about the matter. "Play games without the fans?" LeBron said. "No. That’s impossible. I ain’t playing." The Lakers superstar went on to explain that, since his job as an athlete is to entertain crowds, playing without anyone watching would stunt his motivation. "I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for," he explained. "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."
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It appears that the NBA is following in the footsteps of other sports leagues that have suspended games in front of crowds with this potential move. The coronavirus has already affected some NBA players, such as Portland Trail Blazers guard, CJ McCollum, who announced that he was "taking a break" from interacting with fans after coronavirus hit Oregon.
"The Corona Virus has officially hit Oregon," CJ wrote on Twitter last weekend. "More specifically Lake Oswego...Make sure y’all washing y’all hands with soap for 20 or more seconds & covering ya mouths when you cough. I am officially taking a break from signing autographs until further notice. Sincerely, CJ."
"Fist pounds > high fives," he continued in another tweet. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Stay germ free." Words of wisdom.