News ID: 268442
Published: 1218 GMT May 01, 2020

LeBron: Lakers ready to play despite call to cancel NBA

LeBron: Lakers ready to play despite call to cancel NBA

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he's ready for the NBA to return, refuting a report some agents and team executives want the league to scrap the 2019-20 season.

The NBA halted the current campaign on March 12 after Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, AFP reported.

CNBC reported Thursday that unnamed player agents and club executives say team owners worry about liability issues due to health concerns and a lack of revenue from playing in an empty arena for a television audience.

James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and three-time NBA champion, disputed the report, saying he and his Laker teammates are prepared to finish the season when officials deem conditions are safe to do so.

"Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That's absolutely not true," James wrote in a Twitter posting.

"Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it's safe we would like to finish our season. I'm ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything."

The Lakers boasted the best record in the Western Conference, and the second-best in the league, at 49-14 when the league shut down with about a month of the regular season remaining, plus two months of playoffs.

Players would need time and opportunity to practice and regain fitness before resumption of play, even in empty arenas in a central location, key aspects of most of the plans discussed about how a season might proceed in the wake of the deadly virus that has shut down sport.

"It is the responsibility of the league office to explore all options for a return to play this season," an NBA spokesman told CNBC.

"We owe that to our fans, teams, players, partners and all who love the game. While our top priority remains everyone's health and well-being, we continue to evaluate all options to finish this season.”

The NBA and its players union have agreed on the league withholding 25 percent of player salaries starting in May.





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