Amid the uncertainties and concerns brought about by the novel coronavirus, the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended its 2019-2020 season until further notice, in order to protect players, fans, family, coaches and the basketball community from the threat of coronavirus, Wednesday.
Before the announcement, players from the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder were gearing up for a Wednesday night game. However, the game was delayed before the tip-off and soon thereafter the suspension was announced.
In a statement released by the NBA organization, it said that it will use the hiatus to determine the next steps to be taken regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and that they will always put the safety of everyone above all.
Utah Jazz Players tests positive for COVID-19
The trigger for the league-wide suspension of play was the unplayed game in OKC's Chesapeake Energy Arena. "A player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tipoff," according to the news release.
Persons with knowledge about the situation spoke regarding the issue of COVID-19 and the duration of the suspension of the games on condition of anonymity, the sources confirmed that the tested positive was Utah Jazz's center Rudy Gobert and the shutdown will last at least two weeks depending on the further results.
During Monday's shoot around the Utah Jazz's french center answered questions from the media and afterward, he touched every microphone on the stage sending a message that he was fearless in regards to the disease. But two days after, he tested positive for the pandemic disease leaving reporters during the shoot around to do their tests as well. Reporters who were present were also advised to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Moreover, Gober's teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the novel coronavirus. This was suspected to be connected to Gober's case as the Jazz center has been careless in touching players and their belongings inside the locker room despite the warnings on the situation's severity.
The NBA has advised all teams who have played with the Utah Jazz in the last 10 days to self-quarantine and make efforts to control further infection of the league's players, coaches and game officials.
Stephen Curry diagnosed with seasonal Flu not coronavirus
Former NBA champion Stephen Curry also missed the last two games due to the seasonal flu, after his comeback from a 58-game rest after sustaining a hand injury. Curry was supposed to come back on Thursday to play against the Brooklyn Nets, however, the season suspension was announced.
There have been speculations that the other half of the splash brothers, contacted the coronavirus but the Golden State Warriors Organization spelled out that he was just ill with influenza A and stressed that Curry has not exhibited symptoms or coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus has killed more than 4,200 world wide and has infected at least 118,000 globally. In the US there are now 1,267 cases recorded and 38 have died.
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