HOUSTON – The NBA has suspended the season until further notice, according to an NBA press release.
A person with knowledge of the situation said the Jazz player who tested positive was center Rudy Gobert. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the team confirmed the presumptive positive test.
In the release, however, the NBA didn’t identify the player but only stated a “player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.” The test result was reported shortly before the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
At that time, the game between the Jazz and the Thunder was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.
The NBA is suspending gameplay following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice, per the release. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
A second person who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity said the league expects the shutdown to last a minimum of two weeks, but cautioned that the timeframe is very fluid.
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, which declared a pandemic on Wednesday, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.
It has been a worldwide issue for several weeks. And now, it has hit the NBA.
Two days ago, Gobert reportedly touched a bunch of reporters’ audio equipment after an interview.
Rudy Gobert thought it was funny to touch every single mic and recorder in the media room.— Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) March 12, 2020
Now, he has Coronavirus and the entire NBA season is suspendedpic.twitter.com/A22U5AgmBi
This story includes reporting by the Associated Press.