The COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has everyone on edge -- including NBA officials.
Sports all over the world have started to consider playing games behind closed doors, and the idea also made it to North America because they believe it can prevent the coronavirus from further spreading.
One very well-known basketball player, however, is not happy about taking fans away from the games -- and that is LeBron James.
Speaking to Sports Center, James said: "We play games without the fans? Nah, that's impossible. I ain't playing if you don't have fans in the crowd. That's who I play for."
James was very clear when asked about playing games without fans. The NBA has not made a decision yet, but they recently sent a memo to all 30 teams to prepare for the that posisbility given that the virus is spreading fast.
"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 ain't no fans there? I ain't playing. So, they could do what they want to do," LeBron continued.
Given his nonchalant tone, it is unclear whether or not The King is serious about refusing to play without the fans.
LeBron James also weighed in on the international sports leagues taking measures against COVID-19.
"I ain't never played a game without no fans ever since I started playing ball. I don't give a damn, this ain't Europe," LeBron added.
“We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible. I ain’t playing, if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd, that’s who I play for.
—LeBron James on the possibility of playing games without fans in attendance due to concerns from the Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/E3Yb41YfCK — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 7, 2020
As of writing, there are no current NBA games postponed because of the spread of the virus.
On March 6, the Golden State Warriors released a statement saying they would play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night as scheduled. However, they encouraged people with underlying health conditions to not attend the game.
If the NBA pushes through playing behind closed doors, they would not be the first league to do so.
John Hopkins University announced this week that audiences would not be allowed to attend the first two rounds of the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament on Friday and Saturday because of the threat of the virus.
The association's chief medical officer Brian Hainline told The Wall Street Journal on Saturday that it is the worst-case scenario and "very, very difficult" to cancel a championship and have it at any other time.
According to the Huffington Post, the LeBron's comments came just hours after the worldwide tally for infections passed the 100,000 mark.
Last week, the Los Angeles County and California declared a state of emergency after more cases were identified.
The Center of Disease and Control website cites 164 cases nationwide, with at least 17 people killed in the U.S. alone as of Saturday morning.
The virus that has made its way around the world has major sports teams wondering what they could do to combat it. Sports teams in Europe have already started playing games without fans to be precautionary for the players.