Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard offers kind but misguided thoughts on coronavirus

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers offered up his opinion on playing in front of empty arenas when asked about the coronavirus outbreak.

Basketball is beginning to (understandably) take a back seat despite March being one of the biggest months of the year for the sport. The outbreak of the coronavirus around the globe has every organization evaluating its everyday operations. The NBA is no exception as they debate possibly playing in front of no fans. Tuesday, the LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard was asked how that would feel.

Kawhi answered in a very relaxed, Kawhi like method stating “It’d be very different if it does come to that. Hopefully, the fans aren’t mad or whatever… I think we should just leave it up to the fans if they want to come to the games or not.”

His heart is in the right place. Like LeBron James initially said, the players are out there for the fans to enjoy. Playing without their presence would be odd for everyone. But let’s be honest. That’s terrible advice.

As much as we want to think that nothing bad would happen, all it takes is one person to ruin it for everyone. When mass crowds gather, there is always room for more problems. Think back to Men in Black. “A person is smart. People are dumb.” There is a reason events like Coachella and even the Ivy League basketball tournament have been canceled. It’s better to be overcautious than to ignore and let the virus spread.

I’m not blaming Kawhi here. He’s just trying to think of the fans and how much this means to them. He shouldn’t be asked about this until the league itself makes a decision after consulting with experts.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, said just last week that he didn’t understand why a football manager’s opinion is important with something like this outbreak. He’s right. Athletes shouldn’t be put into situations where they have to answer questions regarding issues that they may not be well versed in. Let the leagues work with the right people and make the decisions and then pass it down to their teams, players, and coaches.

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The NBA is likely to make a decision within the next week on how they will proceed. Playing games without fans seems like the next move as precautions increase. Make sure you are educated on the disease and are taking the right precautionary steps as individuals.