Since the NBA suspended operations to help combat the coronavirus, they have been trying to figure out how they will return to action when it’s safe to.
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were playing their best basketball of the 2019-20 NBA season at the time of the suspension and could now find themselves playing games without fans in a practice facility, something that could surely hurt their momentum.
Of course, playing games without fans has been one of the options at the forefront of the NBA’s collective mind as it would be the safest way to resume play. James already spoke out against this once, but quickly backtracked when he realized this may be the only option.
James once again talked about the dynamic of playing an NBA game without fans present even if it means finally being able to play basketball again, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“So to get back on the floor, I would love it. I’m not going to sit here and say nothing. Like, if it’s get out there and get back on the floor 5-on-5 … but like, we can do that in scrimmages. Let’s just go to each other’s practice facility, put out a camera, just scrimmage and livestream it. … I just don’t know how we can imagine a sporting event without fans. It’s just, it’s a weird dynamic.”
It would certainly be an interesting thing to watch, and it may just be what ends up happening. Even if NBA games are deemed safe enough to resume in May or June, it may not be safe for gatherings of that size to meet.
The NBA has already looked into playing games at practice facilities in order to not mess with the pre-existing schedules of the arenas they play in. So this may need to be a reality that James, the Lakers, and entire NBA has to get used to.
It hopefully will give them some comfort to know that millions of fans will be watching at home as the excitement of having sports back on television will bring countless people in to watch the games.