Basketball legend, LeBron James has backtracked on his initial statement not to play in empty stadiums after concerns were raised over the deadly coronavirus.
Last Friday, the NBA sent a memo to all 30 teams about the need to prepare for possibly playing games behind closed doors with only essential staff present due to coronavirus.
When asked about what he thinks about the NBA’s pending plan, LeBron James threatened not to play if they are made to play behind closed doors because of coronavirus.
‘We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,’ James said. ‘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.’
Following the backlash he received for his comments, the 35-year-old has finally acknowledged he would comply with any safety measures by the NBA to help stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Well, it’s funny, because when I was asked the question – would you play without no fans? – I had no idea that there was actually a conversation going on behind closed doors about the particular virus,’ James told reporters on Tuesday.
‘Obviously, I would be very disappointed, not having the fans, because that’s who I play for. I play for my family. I play for my fans. They’re saying no one could come to the game if they decide to go that point.
‘So, I’d be disappointed in that. But, at the same time, you have got to listen to the people keeping track on what’s going on.
‘And if they feel like it is 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 them.’
As of Tuesday, the United States confirmed 732 cases of the coronavirus with a total of 26 deaths.