Coronavirus Prompts NBA to Suspend Season

The league acted after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus

Arena at night
A Jazz/Thunder game as Chesapeake Energy Arena was canceled before the season was suspended.
Urbanative/Creative Commons

Earlier today brought the news that March Madness would be played to largely-empty arenas due to the coronavirus. This evening brought an even more dramatic step from elsewhere in the world of basketball: the NBA season is suspended, effective immediately.

The league’s press release pointed to the tipping point as related to tonight’s Utah Jazz/Oklahoma City Thunder game — which has since been canceled.

The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.  The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.  At that time, tonight’s game was canceled.  The affected player was not in the arena.

The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice.  The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Jazz player who had tested positive for the coronavirus was Rudy Gobert. As a number of reporters have noted, Gobert also responded to the league’s coronavirus guidelines by touching the recording devices of members of the media earlier this week.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, sources report that Gobert is currently “feeling good, strong and stable.”

We’ll have more on this story as the NBA releases more information.

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