The NBA sent out a memo on Friday instructing teams to strategise how to play games behind closed doors. LA Lakers legend LeBron James stated he would not play in any such events if no fans were present.
With the Coronavirus raging havoc in sports all over the world, the NBA is preparing for the impact as it warned teams to prepare and strategise to play games behind closed doors.
Teams have been advised to prepare to play games without fan sand only with”essential staff”.
This week the NBA issued a number of health and safety preventive measure including instructing players not to take any items to sign on behalf of fans as well as for players to “fist pump” instead of shaking hands.
As of Friday 6 March, the USA had an estimated 335 cases of Coronavirus with 17 fatalities.
In an effort to reduce the spread of the deadly virus as well as for the protection of players and the general public, the NBA has been looking into implementing new policies.
In their statement on Monday, the NBA went on to say:
“The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount,”
“We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus and continue to monitor the situation closely.”
LeBron James has clearly stated that should the NBA choose to play their games behind closed doors, he will not play without his supporting LA Lakers fans as he went on to say:
“We play games without the fans? No, it’s not possible,”
“I ain’t playing. Any other fans in the crowd, that’s who I play for.”
“Play for my team-mates, I play for the fans, that’s what it’s all about.
“If I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans there I ain’t playing so they can do what they want to do.”
The NBA now joins other sporting disciplines who may possibly have to play out their season games without any fans in the stands due to the coronavirus.