Nuggets head coach Michael Malone revealed on Monday that he contracted the novel coronavirus in March.
Malone is the first NBA coach known to have tested positive for the virus. In March, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was the first prominent head coach in a major U.S. sport who revealed he had COVID-19.
Malone made his revelation during an interview with CBS Denver 4 (hat tip to ESPN). Malone didn’t find out he had the virus until he received an antibody test approximately two months later.
“I’d say around March 20, I started not feeling well, and we began reaching out to team doctors to see if I could get a test,” Malone said. “Unfortunately, at that time, there was no testing available. So I only found out after the fact. I was able to get an antibody test probably right around Memorial Day weekend. And not surprisingly, our team doctor called up and said, ‘Listen, you tested positive.'”
Numerous players contracted the virus in March following Rudy Gobert‘s positive test that resulted in the suspension of play, including Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant, Christian Wood and Marcus Smart. Interestingly, an unnamed member of the Nuggets organization also tested positive in March. That person was experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 on March 16.
Malone’s team was 43-22 when play was halted and remains one of the top contenders for the title. Malone is hopeful that the Orlando bubble environment will limit the possibility of an outbreak among participants.
“I hope that going down to Orlando will be a safe environment and we can limit the amount of people that actually get [COVID-19],” he said.