The Los Angeles Lakers and sports world are currently figuring out what to do as the coronavirus issue continues to grow every day.
With more cases of COVID-19 occurring globally, professional leagues are taking proactive measures to prevent the virus from spreading and protecting both fans and athletes.
However, it appears James has gone back on his previous statement, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“Well it’s funny, because when I was asked the question of would you play without no fans, I had no idea that there was actually a conversation going behind closed doors about the particular virus,” James said Tuesday. “Obviously, I would be very disappointed not having the fans, because that is what I play for — I play for my family, I play for my fans.”
James then added that if that is ultimately what the NBA decides to do, then he will have no choice but to abide by the decision:
“They say no one could actually come to the game if they decide to go to that point, so I would be disappointed in that,” James said. “But at the same time, you got to listen to the people that’s keeping a track on what’s going on. If they feel like it’s best for the safety of the players, the safety of the franchise, the safety of the league to mandate that, then we all listen to it.”
So far, the league has already limited locker room access to players and essential team employees only while media members must keep their distance when interviewing them. The measures may not be the only steps the NBA takes as the coronavirus outbreak could potentially lead to more changes or rules to ensure the safety of everyone working in and around the teams.
It is an unusual situation for everyone involved as there is still information that needs to be gathered and how it affects the Lakers and the rest of the league remains to be seen. Fortunately, fans are still able to come and watch the games, but there is no telling if and when they will be forbidden from coming.
For now, the only thing Los Angeles can do is continue to play the way they have been in recent weeks.