Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers might know that Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James made headlines when Bron denounced the possibility of the NBA not having fans in attendance amid the concerns about the coronavirus. It seems he is not the only superstar the shares the same sentiment.
Damian Lillard was admittedly happy that James led the charge, According to Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian:
“LeBron said that if there ain’t no fans, he’s not playing,” said Lillard on Monday after practice. “I’m pretty sure that statement went a long way. I doubt we’re going to be playing with no fans. I’m glad he said that.
Damian Lillard elaborated on some his questions regarding the league’s potential decision.
“If there’s no fans, they might as well drive up here and let’s play in the practice facility,” Lillard continued. “Instead of just going to the arena and playing in an empty arena, let’s just play in our practice uniforms. If you can’t sell tickets, what does that mean? Are you going to have a TV game with nobody there, how does that work?”
The league recently started taking precautions to inform players to reduce close interaction with the fans. The memo also included them acknowledging the possibility of them playing games without any in the arena at all.
This notion clearly has not resonated well with the players themselves. It is safe that the comments made by Damian Lillard and LeBron James are indicative of how important it is to have the crowd noise as part of the game. Having household names sit out of these games would hardly be good for business.
Regardless, it appears the NBA will continue to regulate the amount of exposure players will have with the fans and even the media. A teammate of Damian Lillard, shooting guard CJ McCollum, took to Twitter to announce his own plan to limit contact with fans. However, the prospect of not having any in the arena still seems far-fetched to most players.