Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has no interest in the idea of playing in empty arenas during the Coronavirus scare in America.
If the fans aren’t there, LeBron James doesn’t plan to be either.
Earlier this week, the NBA reportedly sent a memo to all clubs in preparation for potential results of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States. One of the consequences may be shutting out fans in arenas, playing with only stadium personnel, select coaches and full rosters in the building.
LeBron pushed back hard on the idea, telling reporters he won’t play if there aren’t fans in the seats.
On its face, the notion of banning fans from the stadiums around the league seems far-fetched . However, the concern surrounding the Coronavirus is growing. Fourteen deaths in the United States have been attributed to the pandemic, and while tests have been developed, they have yet to be put into widespread action across the country.
We’ve already seen other industries hit hard economically from the disease, including the entertainment space. This past week, South by Southwest was canceled in Austin, Texas, with the city declaring a local disaster. The original dates for the annual festival were March 16-22.
Should the NBA actually close the arenas, it is unknown when they would be reopened, and what would need to take place for the the league to do so. The NBA playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 18.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.