The game won't go on for LeBron James if the stands are empty. Responding to the NBA's plan to stage NBA games without a live audience present to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the basketball legend's answer was clear: "I ain't playing."
On Friday, The Athletic reported that the league had sent memos to teams advising them to prepare for the possibility of games taking place without fans, presumably for the benefit of the TV audience. The tactic had already been implemented in Italy, one of the hardest hit countries from coronavirus.
But the league's biggest star is not on board with the precautionary measure.
"We play games without the fans? Nah, it's impossible," the Los Angeles Lakers star told reporters. "I ain't playing. If I ain't got the fans in the crowd, that's who I play for. I play for my team-mates, the fans, that's what it's all about. If I show up to an arena and there ain't no fans in there, I ain't playing. They can do what they want to do. I ain't ever played the game without no fans, ever, since I started playing ball."
He concluded, "I don't give a damn, this isn't Europe. They can do what they want to do."
The NBA has not yet implemented the plan.