Speaking extensively for the first time since the NBA announced it was suspending its season during the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James outlined some of the challenges facing the league as it hopes to get back to the court.
“So what happens when a guy who is tested positive for corona and you’re out there on the floor with him and it’s a loose ball?” James said as a guest on the Road Trippin’ Podcast hosted by former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye and current Lakers studio host Allie Clifton.
The podcast, presented by James’ multimedia platform Uninterrupted, was released Thursday, the same day James and the Lakers were scheduled to be in Cleveland to play the Cavs. Instead, the NBA’s hiatus ticked past two weeks as there have been 14 reported cases of COVID-19 involving players and personnel — including two Lakers.cheap nfl nike jerseys china
“It’s always special going back there and looking up there and look at that banner,” James said, referring to the 2016 championship banner James, an Akron, Ohio, native who played 11 of his 17 seasons in Cleveland, helped earn. “Think about all the great memories that we had. And then being able to play in front of my friends and family again. That would have been so cool. … I’m kind of bummed out about that.”
He was also disappointed at the thought of returning to play in a league that, at least temporarily, would likely be forced to play games with no fans in attendance.
“What is the word ‘sport’ without ‘fan’?” James asked. “There’s no excitement. There’s no crying. There’s no joy. There’s no back-and-forth.
“… That’s what also brings out the competitive side of the players to know that you’re going on the road in a hostile environment and yes, you’re playing against that opponent in front of you, but you really want to kick the fans’ ass too.cheap nike nfl jersey
“So to get back on the floor, I would love it. I’m not going to sit here and say nothing. Like, if it’s get out there and get back on the floor 5-on-5 … but like, we can do that in scrimmages. Let’s just go to each other’s practice facility, put out a camera, just scrimmage and livestream it. … I just don’t know how we can imagine a sporting event without fans. It’s just, it’s a weird dynamic.”
James and the hosts also addressed the logistical concerns regarding what it would actually take to turn the lights back on for the league. When Jefferson, who also works as an ESPN NBA analyst, suggested that teams could be isolated in a league-selected hotel for the duration of the postseason as a safety measure, James objected.