Count LeBron James among the masses who are holding out hope the NBA can complete its season.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar spoke on Wednesday on a video conference call with the media.
When the NBA halted its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Lakers were well out in front of the second-place Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference and had already booked a post-season berth.
“I can (hopefully) have some satisfaction on what our team has been able to do this year,” James said.
“Having a first-year coach, first-year system, a whole new coaching staff, I honestly didn’t think that we’d be able to come together as fast as we did.
“Having so many new players, so many new pieces, bringing in Anthony (Davis) … I thought it would take us a lot longer than it did but I was wrong.”
However, the impressive campaign is on hold, with 19 regular season games to play for the Lakers.
James will be deeply disappointed if they can’t make a play-off run but he knows safety comes first.
“I don’t think I’d be able to have any closure if we do not have an opportunity to finish this season,” he said.
With the future of the season in doubt, James is willing to entertain options being put forward about how play might resume.
Several reports have indicated that the NBA might restart with all games in the same location, with no fans present.
“If it’s in one single, isolated destination, if it’s Las Vegas or somewhere else that can hold us and keep us in the best possible chance to be safe, not only on the floor but also off the floor as well, then those conversations will be had,” James said.
James’ 17th NBA season is obviously unique for many reasons but he has found a happy place.
“To be here with your family and being able to … appreciate it and be in this moment, it’s been pretty cool, even though I’ve missed the game of basketball like none other,” he said.
When the season was suspended, James was in the midst of a year that had him being touted for a possible fifth MVP award – averaging 25.7 points per game, 7.9 rebounds and a league-leading 10.6 assists, the top assist figure of his career.