LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Getty Images / Katelyn Mulcahy

The NBA has reportedly advised teams to plan for playing games in front of empty arenas due to concerns over the coronavirus. However, LeBron James says he will not play games to arenas with no fans.

After the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, the Lakers superstar was asked about his stance on the NBA’s plans to protect fans and players from the coronavirus.

“We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,” James told The Associated Press. “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.”

As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, the league circulated a memo to its teams Friday telling them to prepare in case it becomes necessary to play games without fans or media. The memo detailed potential actions that teams might need to take for public health safety, “if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present.”

Other recommendations in the memo included “implementing temperature checks on players, team staff, referees, and anyone else who is essential to conducting such a game in the team’s arena.”

The NBA has yet to implement these measures. Keep it here for updates.

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer