LeBron James eager to get back to basketball

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said yesterday he’s eager for the NBA season to resume, as long as the health of players and their families won’t be endangered amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

James, speaking on the ‘WRTS: After Party’ programme on the Uninterrupted multi-media platform, said he hoped the NBA season resumes sooner rather than later.

“Definitely not giving up on the season,” said James, whose Lakers led the Western Conference when the NBA suspended play on March 11.

The virus brought global sport to a virtual standstill, but as lockdowns aimed at preventing its spread have begun to ease, sport has begun to re-emerge.

In North America the popular NASCAR stock car series resumed without spectators last Sunday and golf stuck a toe in the water with a made-for-TV charity event featuring Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.

The NBA, along with Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer are still formulating plans to return, while the National Football League tries to stay on course for an on-schedule season opening in September.

“Not only myself and my teammates, the Lakers organisation, we want to play,” James said. “There are a lot of players that I know personally that want to play. And obviously, we don’t ever want to jeopardise the health of any of our players or any of the players’ families and so on and so on.

“This is a pandemic that we have no idea – we can’t control it,” James said. “We’re going to listen to the people that’s been following this pandemic, following the numbers, following the data.”

The Lakers own the second-best record in the league behind Eastern Conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks and were already assured of a spot in the playoffs – which were due to start in April.