LOS ANGELES • Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he is eager for the (NBA) season to resume, as long as it does not endanger the health of players and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the WRTS: After Party programme on the Uninterrupted multimedia platform on Monday, he 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 after Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
The NBA, along with Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, is still formulating plans to return while the National Football League is keeping to the scheduled season opening in September.
"Not only myself and my teammates, the Lakers organisation, we want to play," said the three-time NBA champion. "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."
The Lakers own the second-best record in the league behind Eastern Conference leaders Milwaukee Bucks and were already assured of a spot in the play-offs - which were due to start last month.
Among the uncertainties surrounding an NBA return is whether all of the remaining games of the regular season will be played and whether teams will play in their home arenas or at sites that will better allow the league to limit access for safety reasons.
James has said he does not relish the idea of playing without fans, but just wants to be back on court now.
The 35-year-old has been spending the last few weeks watching The Last Dance, a 10-part documentary about NBA legend Michael Jordan's career.
He revealed he thought about what it would be like to play alongside the six-time NBA champion.
"Me personally, the way I play the game - team first - I feel like my best assets work perfectly with Mike," James said. "Mike is an assassin. When it comes to playing the game of basketball, scoring the way he scored the ball, my ability to pass, my ability to read the game plays and plays in advance."
ITCHING FOR ACTION
Not only myself and my teammates, the Lakers organisation, we want to play. There are a lot of players that I know personally that want to play.
LEBRON JAMES, LA Lakers star, on resuming the stalled NBA season.
James grew up a Bulls fan and recalled his first meeting with the Chicago guard in 2001.
"The dude looked like Jesus Christ to me," he said of his experience in a pickup game at Hoops the Gym in Chicago.
"He was black Jesus to me."