The Los Angeles Lakers announced Wednesday that their games to start the 2020-21 NBA season would be held without fans until further notice. This news comes after the league sent around a memo on how teams would be allowed to have fans within their arenas for the new season.
The franchise cited “the guidance of State and local health officials” as the reason behind this decision. Below is the entirety of the Lakers’ statement on the matter:
This just in from the Lakers… pic.twitter.com/VW8ae0Xd9t
The Lakers are not the only professional sports team to use Staples Center to host their games. The Los Angeles Clippers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings also use the venue for home games. Neither have put out an official statement on whether fans will be allowed at games next season.
As a result of this announcement, the Lakers will have all but guaranteed the postponement of another major moment of their post-championship victory lap: the banner-raising ceremony.
While nothing specific has been said on the subject, it’s hard to imagine that the organization would decide to keep the event of raising a record-tying 17th NBA championship banner as an event for television only. This is the second post-title moment the team has had to postpone due to COVID-19 guidelines.
The Lakers have yet to hold an official championship parade — though Lakers fans filled the street outside Staples Center following the team’s Game 6 win over the Miami Heat.
This story was originally published by CBS Sports on Nov. 11, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
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