The NBA has suspended its 2019-2020 season until further notice, following the news that a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus.
“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,” the NBA said in a statement, a short time ago. “At that time, tonight’s game was cancelled. The affected player was not in the arena.”
Although the identity of the player has not been officially confirmed, multiple sources, including ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, allege that player to be Rudy Gobert. Wojnarowski has also reported that Jazz and Thunder players are currently being quarantined in the OKC arena, as stated below.
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 rest of tonight’s games will go ahead as normal (aside from the cancelled Jazz and Thunder showdown), but the NBA season will officially be suspended following the conclusion of these games.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the statement concluded. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expressed his disbelief to ESPN below. “It’s now within the realm of possibilities,” he said. “It seemed more like out of a movie than reality.”
“[But] this is much bigger than the NBA.”
"This is crazy. This can't be true. … It seemed more like out of a movie than reality."
—Mark Cuban explains his reaction to hearing that the NBA was suspending its season. pic.twitter.com/MHyrAD4D0f
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
“Single craziest day in NBA history,” Bill Simmons tweeted. “It’s not even close. Stay safe out there everybody.”Image: Getty Images / Alex Goodlett / Stringer