As fears of the coronavirus continue to grow, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has spoken out about what he plans to do if the NBA makes games unavailable to fans due to the spreading illness.
“We play games without the fans?” James said following Lakers’ win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at Staples Center. “Nah, it’s impossible.”
While James may consider the concept an impossibility, it is actually far from it.
In fact, Mark Medina of USA Today reported that a number of NBA executives have already discussed closing the doors on NBA arenas “as a last-resort contingency plan.”
As for James, he made it clear that if fans aren’t in the stands, he won’t be suiting up.
LeBron James on possibility of NBA playing games behind closed doors because of coronavirus. LeBron: “I ain’t playing” if there are no fans pic.twitter.com/kpHg6bsFYO
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 7, 2020
“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.”
James played masterfully in his team’s win over the Bucks on Friday. He finished the night with 37 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
While it currently seems unlikely that such a drastic move would be taken by the NBA, only time will tell if the seriousness of the novel disease requires such action.
Hopefully, fans will be able to watch James play live and in person through the rest of the 2019-20 NBA season.