Angel Rodriguez #13 of the Austin Spurs handles the ball in opposition to Devontae Cacok #12 of the South Bay Lakers on March 11, 2020 at UCLA Heath Coaching Middle in El Segundo, California. Adam Pantozzi / NBAE / Getty Photographs / AFP
The NBA suspended the season Wednesday after a Utah Jazz participant examined constructive for the brand new coronavirus, prompting a sport to be deserted simply earlier than tip-off.
The take a look at outcome was reported as Utah’s sport in opposition to the Thunder in Oklahoma Metropolis was about to start. The sport was abruptly postponed and the gamers had been successfully quarantined within the locker room space.
The league stated the affected participant, believed to be French defensive standout Rudy Gobert, was not on the enviornment and was being handled by well being officers in Oklahoma Metropolis.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league stated. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Jazz issued an announcement saying the participant had flu-like signs however initially examined damaging for influenza and a respiratory an infection.
The choice was made to check once more for COVID-19, for which he examined constructive.
“A preliminary positive result came back right before tip-off of the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City game,” the Jazz assertion stated. “The decision was correctly made by the NBA to postpone the game.”
The league and the staff have declined to call the participant, however Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone instructed reporters he believed it was Gobert, who was listed first as questionable for the sport after which as out with sickness.
“Rudy Gobert. You think it is not going to affect us, we are NBA,” stated Malone. “One in all our gamers has the coronavirus.
“Who is aware of what meaning for his or her staff and the opposite groups which have been with them.”
‘This is crazy’
Gobert angered members of the Jazz media on Monday when he intentionally touched each microphone at a information convention, in what gave the impression to be a present of bravado concerning the illness.
Crew house owners had been discussing Wednesday how the league ought to reply to the coronavirus outbreak.
Dallas proprietor Mark Cuban was sitting courtside on the Mavericks’ sport in opposition to the visiting Nuggets when he bought the information on his cellphone.
“I thought this is crazy. It can’t be true,” Cuban stated. “It is like out of a movie. Unreal.”
Upon studying the season was being suspended, Cuban instantly walked over to the bench to let the staff officers know.
“It is not about basketball and money. This is exploding to the point where I think about the families. We are making sure we are doing this the right way,” he stated.
“The idea that a couple of players have it… it is stunning.”
Earlier NBA staff house owners and league officers had been wrestling with how one can handle within the face of the outbreak, contemplating not solely suspending video games, but in addition enjoying in empty arenas.
The Golden State Warriors had confirmed they’d host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in San Francisco behind closed doorways after San Francisco metropolis officers introduced a two-week ban on all gatherings of greater than 1,000 individuals.
The league-wide choice was made after the complicated scenes in Oklahoma Metropolis, the place Jazz and Thunder gamers took the court docket to heat up, however shortly earlier than the scheduled tip-off had been despatched to their locker rooms and police started to clear the Chesapeake Vitality Enviornment.
Followers had been instructed solely that the sport was postponed attributable to “unforeseen circumstances” earlier than they had been herded out of the sector.
Gobert’s teammate Emmanuel Mudiay was additionally listed as affected by an undisclosed sickness on the staff’s harm report.
Six NBA video games had been scheduled for Wednesday. 4 had been underway when the sport in Oklahoma Metropolis was known as off, and a later sport between the New Orleans Pelicans and Kings was additionally cancelled. The choice was made as a result of one of many officers had labored a Utah sport earlier within the week.
“It’s unprecedented,” Detroit coach Dwayne Casey — whose Pistons fell to the 76ers in Philadelphia — stated of the choice to droop the season. “I think it’s the prudent thing to do.”
Miami Warmth coach Erik Spoelstra stated the virus outbreak is far larger than basketball.
“Stunned,” Spoelstra stated after his staff misplaced to the visiting Charlotte Hornets.
“It’s a very serious time right now. I think the league moved appropriately,” added Spoelstra.
Cuban stated he was considering of the protection and well being of his relations.
“This is global pandemic. Peoples’ lives are at stake. I am more worried about my kids and my 82-year-old mother than when we play our next game.”
Cuban spoke on to the Mavs’ gamers after the sport, telling them to stay in Dallas and don’t invite associates in from out of city.
“We expect you to stay in Dallas and I was very specific to say who you talk to, is very important. Bringing people in from out of town because you have down time is not going to work.”