Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James, 35, insists his love for the game couldn't be any bigger as he never had doubts he would play the NBA season restart in Orlando. The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak but the league is planning to finish the season by putting 22 teams in a bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
Three-time NBA champion James said the notion of not playing in Orlando "never crossed my mind." "This beautiful game of basketball, that brings so many people together, that brings happiness, that brings joy to the households, to so many families … I’m happy to be a part of the biggest sports in the world,” James added, as quoted on Pro Basketball Talk.
“And I’m happy to have a platform where not only people will gain joy from the way I play the game, from the way our team plays the game, but also from what I’m able to do off the floor as well”. Players have the right to sit out the NBA season -- and a number of players have opted to do so -- but James believes the NBA has done everything it can to ensure the safety of players and teams in Orlando.
"They took all precautionary reasons, measures to make sure that we as a league are as safe as we can be,” James said. “Obviously, in anything that you do, there can be things that could happen, but we will cross that line if it happens”.
Rudy Gay says everyone has to act responsibly
San Antonio Spurs small forward Gay admits the life in the bubble will be a bit challenging but he notes everyone will have to do their part to ensure the league finishes safely.
"We have special guidelines and special things that we have to abide by,” Gay said. “I think going into this bubble, everybody has to take the proper precautions and do their own part … not just our team, but other teams.
It’s definitely serious. It’s a serious issue. But we vow to do the right thing”. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, 72, is ready to give a shot to the NBA season restart in Orlando. "If this bubble works, I’m safer here than I would be in Texas,” Popovich said.
“And since the decision was made to do this to start the season again, under these circumstances, with all the precautions, what a great opportunity”.