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Magic Johnson: Sports will first return without fans in the stands

"If we’re home and we get to see sports, that’s all we want in the beginning," Johnson said. "We just need something to make us feel good and to give us some hope."

NBA legend Magic Johnson said that when sports do return, after the coronavirus pandemic brought seasons to a halt and prevented the start of others, they will be played without fans in the stands.

The priority will be to "keep the players safe," said Johnson, who is an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Oklahoma City Dodgers and the Los Angeles Sparks. "First you gotta test all the players as well as those who work within those teams."

Johnson said on the "TODAY" show Monday that a lot of those who are so desperately missing sports won't mind that they can't attend games in person.

"I think all of us will take that because if we’re home and we get to see sports, that’s all we want in the beginning. We just need something to make us feel good and to give us some hope, and we can laugh or cheer for our team, and yell at the TV screen," he said. "We need that right now."

The remainder of the NBA season was canceled in March, the MLB season has so far been postponed, the 2020 summer Olympics have been delayed a year and many, many more sporting events have been canceled as people are urged to stay home and social distance.

The NBA has previously discussed the possibility of playing games without fans in the stands. LeBron James, a Los Angeles Lakers player and one of the sport's biggest stars, initially said he wouldn't play without fans in the stands, but has since softened his stance over safety concerns.

"Man this is just a hard thing for all of us, but we need sports to come back, and I hope that happens soon," Johnson said.