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SEASON OVER… FOR NOW? When last night’s slate of games began, it seemed like at least for one more day things would be as normal as they could be in the NBA. Fans crowded stadiums all over the country as games tipped off and the action began. That is, everywhere but one place, in Oklahoma City, where the Thunder and Jazz were right about to face off until at the last moment, OKC’s head medical official grabbed the contest’s three officials, who then sent both teams back to the locker room, eventually leading to the game being called and fans being sent home angry. The reason? Rudy Gobert had tested positive for coronavirus.
The NBA responded quickly and wisely by suspending the season until further notice, behind a statement that read: “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 Wednesday’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, Wednesday’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena. The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of Wednesday’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.”
According to some reports, the suspension of play will last at least two weeks but could drag on longer depending on how the outbreak of the virus progresses throughout the country. For now, though, the bigger concern is figuring out who else Gobert may have gotten sick, as players from the teams who the Jazz have faced within the last 10 days – Cleveland, New York, Boston, Detroit and Toronto – are already being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. That’s especially true for the Raptors since they saw Gobert and the Jazz on Monday night.
For the record, Gobert reportedly felt energized and well enough to play on Wednesday night, so the NBA and Oklahoma health officials were quite smart to not let him in the arena as they awaited his test results.
Stay safe out there, everyone. To stay up to date on the latest on coronavirus as it relates to the NBA, you can click here.