LeBron James reacted to the NBA’s move to suspend its season by saying he wished the whole year could be cancelled.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar had his say after the league was put on hold for an indefinite period, in response to a Utah Jazz player testing positive for coronavirus.
Basketball suffered the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in January, with James left «heartbroken» by the death of his fellow Lakers great.
Now the season is on hold and may not resume, leading James to post on Twitter: «Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020! Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe.»
Rudy Gobert, the Jazz’s French centre, reportedly contracted COVID-19, spurring the NBA to make its decision to call off all games.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry backed the decision to put basketball on hold as he called for a sense of perspective.
He tweeted: «2020 ain’t [sic] it. Don’t know what to compare this situation to…just gotta buckle up and take care of yourself and those around you. Basketball will be back at some point but right now, protect yourself and stay safe out there!»
The Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier, a France team-mate of Gobert’s, said his international colleague was bearing up well.
Fournier wrote: «Was just on the phone with Rudy. He is doing good man. Let’s not panic everyone. Love you all.»
Speaking in a news conference after a 136-131 loss to the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young spoke about the post-match discussions in the team’s camp.
He said: «We didn’t really talk anything about the game or how it ended. It was more about the next steps for us, about moving forward and what we need to do to stay safe and try to stay [as far] away from getting this as possible. It was about how we can be more cautious about it.»
Young said the players had an inkling the NBA would call a halt to the season.
«We kind of knew it – we didn’t know about all the details until 30 minutes before the game. Maybe tonight was about thinking what the next steps are for us,» Young said.
He bowed out with 42 points, albeit in a losing cause.
«Someone told me it was our last game for right now,» Young said. «We weren’t going to have fans probably for the rest of the season anyway. I wanted to go out and put on a show for the fans. I was going to go out fighting and playing hard and putting on a show.»
Mike Malone, coach of the Denver Nuggets, spoke after his team’s 113-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Malone said: «I don’t know what this means. I know instead of flying to San Antonio we’re going to fly home tonight.
«We support the league’s decision, obviously being putting the players’, the fans’, the officials’, the coaches’, the staffs’ best interests at heart, and we have to get our minds wrapped around what this coronavirus is doing.
«We support their decision and we wait to hear from them as to what this means moving forward, because honest to God I have no idea. And I just hope we can figure this out and get back to playing basketball in a timely manner when it’s deemed safe.»