First it was Tom Hanks, now it’s Rudy Gobert – and the NBA has begun taking serious precautions to keep coronavirus out of the league. According to an official statement from the NBA, a player on the Utah Jazz (Rudy Gobert) has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test results were reported just before tip off of the Utah Jazz v. Oklahoma City Thunder, causing the game to be cancelled and both teams to be quarantined in the stadium for hours. Other games in progress on the night of March 11th were completed.
This announcement comes just hours after the Golden State Warriors announced they would be playing the remainder of the season without fans in attendance. Now it seems they won’t be playing games in the Chase Center at all until further notice.
Weeks ago, the league had advised players to avoid the potential spread of coronavirus with various suggestions. Chief among them: avoid the postgame handshake and instead stick with fist bumps. “The N.B.A. will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the league said in a statement Wednesday night.
As news of the season’s shocking status came to light, Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, appeared absolutely shook by the announcement. “This is crazy. This can’t be true,” Cuban said later that evening during an interview with ESPN. “This seems like more out of a movie than reality.”
Mark Cuban reacts moments after the NBA season was suspended. pic.twitter.com/4g8Z7yLts6
— ESPN (@espn) March 12, 2020
This story is developing – check back for updates.