The NBA has announced it will suspend its season after Wednesday night’s games until further notice, as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came shortly after a game between the Utah Jazz and host Oklahoma City Thunder was called off moments before tip-off.
The move comes after the announcement that Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
The diagnosis follows a press conference in which Gobert tried to make a point about overreaction and fear surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak at a media conference on Monday by touching every microphone and recorder.
Rudy Gobert thought it was funny to touch every single mic and recorder in the media room.
Now, he has Coronavirus and the entire NBA season is suspendedpic.twitter.com/A22U5AgmBi
— Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) March 12, 2020
Utah Jazz had been scheduled to play Oklahoma City Thunder today before the game was called off as a result of player concerns regarding Gobert’s ‘illness’, and worries it could possibly be coronavirus-related.
Gobert’s positive test was reported later that evening (local time).
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement, adding it would use the hiatus “to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight’s Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
The Jazz is home to Australia’s Joe Ingles and Dante Exum – both of whom also play for the Boomers.
The league said the affected player was not in the arena and players from both the Jazz and the Thunder were being quarantined at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
At the time of the announcement, the Dallas Mavericks’ home game against the Denver Nuggets was midway through the third quarter.
Two other games – the New York Knicks at the Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Hornets at the Miami Heat – were late in the fourth quarter.
All three games were allowed to finish before the suspension comes into effect.