Amid the outbreak of coronavirus, Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is the latest player to speak out against the idea of playing in empty arenas.
“I think I’d definitely rather postpone games than play with no fans,” Fox said. “That’s why you have a home court. That’s a part of most sports, having homecourt advantage or going into a hostile environment. That’s a part of the game. Without fans, it’s not the same game.”
LeBron James also recently stated that he would refuse to play without fans, saying, “That’s impossible … That’s who I play for.”
Kings’ head coach Luke Walton has stated that the team is taking action to protect players and make sure that they’re informed about the virus.
“We’ve brought in doctors to talk to the team. We’ve showed them videos,” Walton said. “The NBA is really good at player and fan safety always being at the forefront of what they do, so there’s constantly communication going on between all of our organizations and the NBA.”
The Golden 1 Center (home of the Kings) has precautionary measures in place to prevent the spread of germs including more hand-sanitizing stations.
The NBA has scheduled a conference call on March 11 for all team owners/governors to discuss the next step for teams after the escalating coronavirus.