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NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Reported diagnosis led to quarantine for Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder inside Chesapeake Energy Arena

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The NBA has suspended the remainder of its 2019-2020 season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus.

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UPDATE: Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Thursday. Mitchell’s test came just hours after the team’s game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder (and the NBA itself) was suspended after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive to the coronavirus; Gobert allegedly “had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings,” Wojnarowski reported.

The NBA has suspended the remainder of its 2019-2020 season after a player tested positive for coronavirus. The announcement arrived Wednesday before tipoff of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s home matchup against the Utah Jazz, leaving players for both teams quarantined for testing inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

ESPN reporter Royce Young tweeted Wednesday night, “The Thunder have left the arena. But the Jazz are still here.” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added, “The Jazz will need to coordinate with Oklahoma and Salt Lake City public health organizations before they can return to Utah, per sources. For now, the team is quarantined in OKC.”

All Star Jazz center Rudy Gobert is reportedly the player in question, according to Wojnarowski and the Athletic‘s Shams Charania. Gobert, who had been ruled out of the game due to illness, was reportedly at the team hotel in Oklahoma City and not in the arena. Charania’s sources noted that Gobert, as of Wednesday night, was “feeling good, strong and stable — and was feeling strong enough to play tonight.”

“A player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19,” the NBA said in a statement. “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 announcement continued, “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.”

As ESPN’s Tim Bontemps notes, the Jazz also issued a statement on the coronavirus news. “This morning a player on the Utah Jazz tested negative for influenza, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection. The individual’s symptoms diminished over the course of today, 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.

“A preliminary positive result came back right before tip-off of the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City game. Subsequently, the decision was correctly made by the NBA to postpone the game. When it was determined that the individual would be tested, we immediately informed the league office. The health and safety of our players, our organization, those throughout the league, and all those potentially impacted by this situation are paramount in our discussions.

“We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials and the NBA to determine how to best move forward as we gather more information. The individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City. In coordination with the NBA and state officials, we will provide updates at the appropriate time.”

The NBA regular season was set to end April 15th, with the playoffs kicking off three days later. The NCAA announced Wednesday that its March Madness basketball tournament will be played without spectators due to the pandemic.

In This Article: coronavirus, NBA

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