The NBA is suspending the 2019-20 season, the league announced on Wednesday night. The announcement was made through the league’s private PR social media account.
The NBA has suspended the season in the wake of the Coronavirus Crisis. Its official statement: pic.twitter.com/x3X6pddmSq— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 12, 2020
The release reads as follows:
NEW YORK, March 11, 2020 — 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 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 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.
Just seconds before the referenced game was set to tip off, a member of the Thunder training staff ran onto the court to stop the action.
The players were sent back to the locker rooms, and the PA announcer informed the crowd that the game had been cancelled. Shortly afterwards it was reported that Jazz center Rudy Gobert — who was not at the game — had contracted the coronavirus.
Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert has tested positive for coronavirus, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
Sources say Gobert is feeling good, strong and stable — and was feeling strong enough to play tonight.
I've been told that Rudy Gobert was never at the arena tonight, but he was in OKC. If he had been cleared of the virus, he was set to play.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 12, 2020
It was only minutes later that the league announced that Wednesday night would be the final night of action for the time being.
The Jazz and Thunder players are currently quarantined in the OKC arena, league sources tell ESPN. This is following Rudy Gobert testing positive for the coronavirus.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2020
The suspension is temporary, so it remains to be seen what may happen with the NBA season, and much obviously depends on how the pandemic unfolds over the following days and weeks.
Prior to Wednesday’s games, the Board of Governors had reached a decision to suggest proceeding without fans for all games. The league could ultimately come back to that at a later date, or they could wait to resume play in full if and when it is safe to do so, or they could simply cancel the season.
We’ll keep you updated.
As a reminder, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking people to:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
This story will be updated with more information. For more information on the coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.