As the voice of the NBA, when LeBron James speaks, everyone listens. He’s the world’s biggest basketball star, and he knows how to use that platform to air his opinions to fans around the globe.
And he was among the first players to share his discontent over the idea of playing games in empty arenas, which he did when the NBA suspended play due to the coronavirus pandemic back in March. He later walked back his comments a bit, understanding that the health of the league and everyone involved with it is the most important thing.
But the Lakers are struggling in the bubble, as the worst offensive team there statistically, and they sure don’t look like the No. 1 team in the Western Conference. People are searching for answers, and James recently offered an interesting take as to why he personally is struggling, pertaining to playing without fans in the stands.
“I am getting more and more used to being out there. It’s a very weird dynamic. I haven’t played in an empty gym in a very, very long time,” James said, via USA Today. “It’s been a very long time since no one has been watching me play the game. I’m just trying to find that rhythm and lock in.”
“I’m getting more and more comfortable playing in an empty gym,” he said. “Just having the backdrop here is a lot different from playing in a high school gym or a college arena where you’re playing in the summer time, whatever the case may be. It’s very dark, extremely dark. You can literally hear a feather hit the ground. I’m just getting more and more comfortable playing with my game here in the bubble.”
That seems like an excuse for the team’s poor performance more than anything. The fact remains that the Lakers are struggling immensely shooting from the perimeter, and there appears to be some chemistry issues as well, which the team will need to fix sooner than later. It’s not about the fans.