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Report: Pacers and Rockets were also against playing without fans


HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket against the Indiana Pacers on November 15, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Knicks were singled out as the NBA team that – as of yesterday – wanted to continue playing games with fans present amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The league was headed toward playing without fans in attendance. Then, the NBA suspended its season after Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.

But continuing to play in front of fans? That irresponsible idea was pinned solely on the Knicks.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Wojnarowski’s follow-up tweet reads like he got a message after the first tweet. I’m usually reluctant to trust that spin from Houston.

But Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was already on record with this stance:

Fertitta on CNBC last Friday:

I don’t think you ever want to play games in front of no audiences. If it ever got so bad – and this is just my opinion – I would hope that we would just suspend for a week or two weeks or whatever. But you don’t want to play games with no fans. That’s never going to work.

Maybe the Pacers have a similar explanation. Maybe even the Knicks do, too. Or perhaps there were other teams that haven’t come up for public shaming but also wanted to continue playing games in front of fans.

Remain skeptical of this stuff. The coronavirus hasn’t stopped business as usual: NBA insiders – under the cloak of anonymity, accurately or not – slinging mud at each other.