6:28 AM PST 3/7/2020
The Los Angeles Lakers on Friday clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.
The National Basketball Association on Friday night issued a memo to teams informing them of the potential of games being held without fans in the arena due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the memo obtained by CNBC, the NBA told teams they should identify “actions required if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present.” Essentially, no fans.
Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar LeBron James said that was impossible, and what’s more, he would not play if such a plan was put into action.
“We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,” James said when asked by reporters after the Lakers win over the Milwaukee Bucks. “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.”
The Lakers clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2013 with their Friday night victory.
Earlier in the week, the state and Los Angeles County and city all declared an emergency after more coronavirus patients were identified.
LeBron James addresses the #NBA issuing a memo on the possibility of playing games without fans in the arena.“Play games without the fans? No, that’s impossible…I ain’t playing.” pic.twitter.com/CRVl9XVbMl
— Lauren A. Jones (@LoJoMedia) March 7, 2020