CHICAGO (CBS) — After the Golden State Warriors became the first NBA team to announce they’ll play home games in an empty stadium, Chicago Bulls players expressed conflicted emotions about potentially playing games with no fans in the stands.
The Warriors announced Wednesday that they’ll play their next home game on Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets without any fans at Chase Center, after consultation with San Francisco officials due to escalating concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
It is increasingly likely fans will be banned from more professional and collegiate sporting events in the near future due to the coronavirus outbreak, and Bulls players have mixed thoughts.
“I’ve done it a couple of times in my career. Euro League fans are sometimes crazy and they throw some things on the court, especially Turkish fans. It’s a weird feeling, I’ll tell you that. You start to hear what the other coach is saying to their players and what your team actually says. You really can hear it (because it’s so quiet). I’ve already experienced it and probably wouldn’t have a problem with it,” said Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky.
Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. said he didn’t know if he’d be interested in playing without fans.
“It’s like, ‘What are we playing for if no one is in there, and no one is screaming?’ That’s what makes the atmosphere great. Makes everyone want to play even harder. I feel like we’d just be scrimmaging. I don’t like that feeling,” Carter said.
Instead, he suggested the NBA should postpone games instead.
“I feel like that would be best as a league standpoint, from the money side and from a player side. Players don’t want to just play in front of nobody. With no one in the arena, it’s going to mess up the economic standpoint of the league,” he said.
The Bulls will be on the road Thursday night against the Orlando Magic.