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“I don’t think I would be able to have any closure if we did not have an opportunity to finish the season,” he said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters, per the Los Angeles Times‘ Tania Ganguli.
In general, James took a wider view of the situation.
“We’d become so comfortable with all of our lives,” he said, per Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan. “Now it’s time to take a pause.”
The NBA has yet to announce any final decision about the current season. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that “the pessimism is really growing,” especially after the Chinese government delayed the restart of the Chinese Basketball Association season.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Labor Day weekend in early September is the latest the NBA would consider extending this campaign.
James and his fellow Lakers will feel somewhat aggrieved even if keeping the league shut down is the sensible and obvious decision. Los Angeles has the best record in the Western Conference (49-14), and it would be one of the top title contenders were the 2020 playoffs to tip off.
Independent of the larger public health concerns, the health of the players themselves is an issue some have raised. The NBA ordered the temporary closure of teams’ training and practice facilities, leaving the players on their own.
Stadium’s Shams Charania reported the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers were setting up team-wide Zoom calls to help get everybody on the same page:
The Orange County Register‘s Kyle Goon reported the Lakers’ strength and conditioning staff also sent some equipment to players’ homes.
James told reporters during the call he has been working out four to five times per day and practicing on his outdoor court. The 16-time All-Star added he has visited some friends who had their courts “wiped down” but that he hasn’t trained with any teammates.