The NBA has announced that it will be suspending the 2019/20 regular season indefinitely after the conclusion of tonight’s games. According to the league’s announcement, it will use the hiatus to “determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
A Jazz player has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), the NBA confirmed in its statement, adding that the test result was reported shortly before the tipoff of tonight’s Utah/Oklahoma City game, which was ultimately postponed. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the affected player is Rudy Gobert.
The NBA’s Board of Governors had a conference call earlier today to discuss ways to handle the pandemic. Several teams were open to the idea of postponing all contests while many were in favor of playing without fans in the arena. The Warriors had planned to host the first game without fans on Thursday night at the Chase Center, but that game – like the rest, starting tomorrow – will no longer be played as scheduled.
In today’s discussions, the Knicks were the only team that wanted to keep the status quo with regard to fans being in the stadium amidst the coronavirus outbreak, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com tweets. The franchise wanted things to remain the same until a government or public mandate dictated a change.
According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, there was talk earlier today around the NBA that if any player tested positive, all teams that played against the team with the infected player would have to be quarantined for two weeks. While 14 days has been the general rule for recent coronavirus cases, no official timeline has been set by the NBA.
In the short term, teams that have been in contact with Gobert and the Jazz in recent days will likely attempt to test their players as soon as possible. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Jazz and Thunder players were quarantined in the Chesapeake Energy Arena following tonight’s postponement.
For more on the story, check out our full report on Gobert’s positive test.