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NBA tells teams to plan for empty arenas; LeBron says no way

The memo detailed potential actions that teams might need to take “if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present.”
Credit: Ken Blaze
Jun 6, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the first half against the Golden State Warriors in game three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — The NBA wants its teams to prepare to play without fans if necessary because of the coronavirus crisis.

But LeBron James already says he won't play basketball in an empty arena.

The league circulated a memo to its teams Friday telling them to prepare in case it becomes necessary to play games without fans or media, as sports leagues in Europe have already done.

The memo detailed potential actions that teams might need to take “if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present.”

When James was asked about that possibility after he led the Lakers to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, James said it's “impossible” for him to play in an empty arena.

“I ain't playing,” he said.

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