“And then everything that we’ve been going through this season, just the ups and downs — not only on the floor, but also off the floor,” the athlete continued. “Everything that we’ve had to endure as the Laker faithful and us as players and the coaching staff and the organization, it’s been so much.”
“So, closure? No. But to be proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish to this point, I’ll be able to look back and be like, ‘OK, we did something special in that small period of time,'” he said.
And while sports leagues around the world are looking into resuming play without attendees, James has said repeatedly that he wouldn’t want to play games without fans in the stands. “I just don’t know how we can imagine a sporting event without fans. It’s just — it’s a weird dynamic,” he said on the Road Trippin’ Podcast last month.
But the athlete told SI he might be coming around to the idea if that means he can get back on the court.
“Obviously the number one thing, like I said, is the safety and the well-being of all of us here in America first and getting this pandemic under control,” James told SI.
“If it comes to a point if we’re playing without our fans, we still know that we have Laker faithful with us in spirit,” he said. “We know they’ll be home cheering us on, online, on their phones, on their tablets watching us playing. So hopefully we can bottle that energy that we know we’re getting from them.”
James told PEOPLE on Monday that while in quarantine, he never goes a day without working out and that he’s remained in contact with his teammates and coaching staff while they are all apart.
Until the NBA returns, James is enjoying “rare” family time with his kids, Bronny, 15, Bryce, 12, and daughter Zhuri, 5, he told PEOPLE.
“This much family time for us is rare, so really just taking in this opportunity to be together every single day,” he added of life with wife Savannah.
As of Thursday, there are at least 455,019 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, with 16,390 deaths related to the virus.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.
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