LeBron James on Potential Coronavirus Impact: 'No Fans ... I Ain't Playing'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he won't play if the NBA bans fans from arenas over concerns about spread of the coronavirus.

Here's a look a James' full comments on the subject after Friday's 113-103 win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"If I show up to an arena and there ain't no fans in there, I ain't playing." LeBron on possibly playing NBA games without any fans in attendance due to coronavirus outbreak. https://t.co/Ee5XMQ40X6

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported the NBA sent a memo to teams stating they should begin preparations to play games with only "essential staff," and no fans, in attendance.

Marc Stein of the New York Times provided further details:

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

Among the measures that the NBA wants its teams to start preparing for is the possibility --- if the situation worsens --- for instituting "temperature checks" on various players, team staff members, referees and anyone else deemed "essential" to stage a game in such conditions

It's a decision already reached in other leagues around the world because of the COVID-19 outbreak:

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

Empty stadium games over the last few weeks in Italy, Japan and Switzerland... https://t.co/DoUYsqjHnl

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not advised the cancellation of mass gatherings at this stage, but it released guidelines for organizers of large community events and strongly advised sick individuals should stay away from high-population events, even if it's not a confirmed COVID-19 case.

CNN reported Saturday the latest numbers show over 101,400 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, including more than 300 in the United States, with over 3,400 global deaths because of the disease.

Next up for James and the Lakers is a rivalry clash with the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday at Staples Center.