NBA players walk off court, head to self-quarantine amid coronavirus diagnosis; NBA suspends all games

The NBA’s official 2019–20 season has been suspended and two teams have been placed into quarantine after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus.

The National Basketball Association announced the suspension of play Wednesday night, soon after the Jazz’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed just before it began. It was later reported that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN.

The NBA suspended its season “until further notice” just a short time after the league had instituted a temporary ban on having fans in the arenas for future games and after Gobert mocked COVID-19 on Monday and touched every mic at a press conference.

Players in Wednesday’s game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City were already in pre-game warm-ups when both teams abruptly left the court and headed back to the locker rooms. An announcement was made to the filled arena that the game had been postponed but there was no reason given at the time.

Meanwhile, four other games were underway along the East Coast and the New Orleans Pelicans – Sacramento Kings games were supposed to kick off in California later Wednesday.

A player “tested negative for influenza, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection,” the Jazz said in a statement without naming who the team member was.

“The individual’s symptoms diminished over the course of [Wednesday], however, in a precautionary measure, and in consultation and cooperation with NBA medical staff and Oklahoma health officials, the decision was made to test for COVID-19,” the statement continued.

The team “immediately informed the league office” when it was learned the player needed to be tested and added that “the individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City.”

The NBA released a statement announcing the suspension of play for the season.

“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 statement read.

A source told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that players who had faced the Jazz team within the past 10 days were told to self-quarantine. The team has played against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics, the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors during that time.

Gobert was not at the arena Wednesday night but was reportedly at the hotel in Oklahoma City.

Referees at Wednesday’s game called over head coaches Quin Snyder and Billy Donovan after Thunder director of medical services Donnie Strack had come onto the court to speak to the game’s officials.

Jazz players reportedly told  Thunder guard Chris Paul to move away when he asked, “What’s wrong with Rudy?”

The teams left the court as confused fans were still trying to figure out what happened.

According to ESPN:

It was more than three hours after the cancellation of the game; a black curtain shut the tunnel leading to the Jazz locker room and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered to discuss their plan. Another 30 minutes passed before they stepped foot into the Jazz locker room to individually swab each player’s cheek.

 

Workers reportedly were sanitizing the areas after fans had left the building.

NBA superstar LeBron James was among many who reacted to the unfolding events and shocking announcement from the NBA.

Powered by Topple

Frieda Powers

Comments

Latest Articles