Lakers' LeBron James: Money biggest reason for 22 December NBA kickoff date

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Lakers' LeBron James: Money biggest reason for 22 December NBA kickoff date

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James admits he is intrigued on seeing what the COVID-19 protocols the NBA is going to introduce for the upcoming NBA season, which starts on 22 December. "I'm very intrigued on seeing what the protocols are going to be," James said on an episode of the podcast "Road Trippin'," as quoted on ESPN.

"There's been discussions, there's been talks. They wanted to make sure that we can get the season going. Obviously for a lot of different reasons." This past NBA season finished mid-October, and a month and a half later, the new season is set to start.

It wasn't a secret that players didn't want such a short break but league owners believed the NBA could around $500 million to $1 billion by not starting the new season before Christmas. "The biggest reason," James said, when asked by the host Richard Jefferson if the money played the biggest part in the date for the new season.

James underlines health and well being comes at No. 1

"But the safety of our players and the safety of our owners and the safety of our GMs and the safety of our coaches and training staff and things, that's more important than anything," James said.

"I'm very intrigued in seeing how they deal with this because we all know COVID is still very active. And they actually told us that in the winter, it's going to be more active than anytime and that's what we're in right now -- either if you're seeing snow or not, this is the wintertime and it's picking up steam.

So, I just want to see how we tackle this." James, who led the Lakers to their 17th NBA title this past season, admitted living in the Orlando bubble for three months away from his family wasn't easy. "It's almost the same feeling as the first time you go to a haunted house," James said.

"You get excited with your friends. Your friends are telling you how great it is. And you get juiced up, juiced up and juiced up and juiced up -- you really don't realize how scary that s--- is until you get inside of that haunted house.

And that's what I compare to the bubble. "We were all excited to get back. We were excited to be playing basketball again. I mean, we stopped play in March, so we were all excited, but you don't really know what you're getting yourself into until you get inside of the bubble and they tell you, 'That right there, you cannot go outside that gate.' "