The continued spread of the coronavirus globally has people in fear and organizations reacting. While the NBA has floated the idea of banning fans during games, LeBron James won’t be playing if that’s what comes to happen.
The Associated Press reports that on Friday (March 6) the league sent out a memo advising teams to prepare for the possibility of playing games without fans or media present. The letter reportedly suggests teams begin taking note of the essential team and arena staff needed to conduct games. It also suggests teams prepare “for the possibility of implementing temperature checks on players, team staff, referees, and anyone else who is essential to conducting such a game in the team’s arena.”
However, one person not on board with the plan is LeBron James.
“We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,” King James told The Associated Press after Friday’s Lakers win. “I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, and I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. So if I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”
We’re sure James would be contractually obligated to play. But we trust the NBA is smart enough not to step into that sort of PR nightmare.
Professional teams in Europe have already been taking the type of aforementioned steps due to the coronavirus because…ish is real.