NBA suspends season after Utah Jazz player found positive for COVID-19

By: Rhett Wilkinson

Updated on

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After first saying it would play games in empty arenas, the NBA put forth a statement on Wednesday night that all contests are suspended indefinitely after a Utah Jazz player, reportedly Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19.

“The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of Wednesday’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, Wednesday’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena,” the NBA stated.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of Wednesday’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.” 

Games already planned for Wednesday night will conclude.

Before the Jazz-Thunder game on Wednesday, it was reported that Emmanuel Mudiay and Gobert may miss the game due to illnesses.

Once Gobert’s diagnosis was found, the game was postponed, with Thunder and Jazz players being quarantined, tweeted Tony Jones of The Athletic.

Jazz put out a statement Wednesday night explaining, “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, in consultation and cooperation with NBA medical staff and Oklahoma health officials, the decision was made to test for COVID-19,” the statement read.

“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 that 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 our 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.”

Gobert, unaware he had contracted the coronavirus on Monday evening, has also been recorded touching all the recorders and microphones found on a podium at a press conference.


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