The National Basketball Association has suspended the 2019-20 season after the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell also now has tested positive.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of [Wednesday’s] schedule of games until further notice,” said the league in a statement on Wednesday. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
According to ESPN, Gobert was never at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, March 11, where the Jazz team was supposed to face the Oklahoma City Thunder. But he was in town at the team’s hotel, and the game was eventually postponed.
The Jazz players were told to remain in the arena after being quarantined, but members of the Thunder were allowed to leave. Jazz players also have to communicate with the public health organizations in Oklahoma and Salt Lake City before they’re able to head back to Utah.
Additionally, five NBA teams that played the Jazz within the last 10 days have been asked to self-quarantine. They are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.
The NBA G-League suspended the 2019-20 season as well, and the tournament for NCAA’s Division I men’s and women’s basketball will be played without fans in attendance.
After the NBA made the announcement about the season being suspended, a number of players from the league reacted on social media.
“Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020!” Lebron James tweeted on Wednesday. “Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe.”
Steph Curry also sent a message.
“2020 aint it,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “Don’t know what to compare this situation to…just gotta buckle up and take care of yourself and those around you. Basketball will be back at some point but right now, protect yourself and stay safe out there!”
Vince Carter, who in June said he’d retire after the 2019-20 season, offered a sort of farewell to his fans, as the suspension of games may mean the end abrupt of his career.
“Such a weird night but I am truly thankful for each and every person during this 22yr journey,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “If this is really it, I thank everyone for your love and support for all these years.
B E Z.”