LeBron James Clarifies Position on Playing in Front of Fans Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

After sparking controversy over remarks about possibly playing NBA games without fans, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James clarified his remarks and will leave the ultimate decision to officials monitoring the situation.

The NBA has been discussing possibly having players play games without fans in attendance due to the coronavirus, which has already led to more than two dozen deaths in the United States.

James made his original comments after being asked last week about the prospect of playing before no fans.

“I ain’t playing,” James said. “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.”

Across the world, the illness has claimed the lives of thousands of people. That’s led some international leagues to either cancel contests or to play them with no fans to limit the possible transmission of the virus.

At the collegiate level within the United States, some schools have followed that same approach, though the NBA’s plan is seen as a last resort option.

One approach to deal with possible virus transmission that’s been adopted by the NBA, as well as other leagues, has been to ban media from team locker rooms and clubhouses.

The trajectory of the problem remains unknown, but James and the Lakers will look to focus their attention to Tuesday night’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets.

James had been ruled as questionable for the contest, but indicated during the team’s shootaround on Tuesday morning that he will play.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.