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Lakers’ LeBron James changes stance on playing games with no fans

LeBron James, Lakers

After initially saying he wouldn’t play games without fans in the building, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has changed his stance in the wake of increasing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

After Friday’s game, when asked about the possibility of playing in front of empty arenas, LeBron was pretty adamant that he was against it:

“I ain’t playing … That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates. I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”

The Lakers star revised his remarks on Tuesday after clearly getting more information about the situation:

“When I was asked the question of ‘Would you play without no fans?’, I had no idea that it was actually a conversation going on behind closed doors about the particular virus. Obviously, I would be very disappointed not having the fans, because thats what I play for … At the same time, you gotta listen to the people that’s keeping a track on what’s going on. If they feel it’s best for the safety of the players, the safety of the franchise, the safety of the league to mandate that, then we’ll all listen to them.”

The NBA has begun taking preventative measures to protect against the virus, including new locker room protections. A conference call is scheduled for Wednesday with the league’s owners to discuss more potential strategies, and playing games with just “essential staff” in the building is certainly a possibility.

The Lakers face the Brooklyn Nets at home on Tuesday, then welcome the Houston Rockets to Staples Center on Thursday and the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.