Prior to game tip-off of the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Jazz forward Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus that led to the suspension of the 2019-2020 NBA season.
The association did not mention Gobert by name, but it did confirm that a Utah Jazz player was tested positive of COVID-19. The player was not at the arena during the announcement but the game was immediately postponed, asking the fans to leave. Both teams and their locker room were quarantined afterwards.
The NBA beforehand made an announcement to limit locker room access to only essential team personnel before and after games. With this, it was the Golden State Warriors who made the first move by playing in an empty arena. The team would play its home games without fans in attendance.
Since the league has banned the media from entering the locker rooms, players have to fulfil interviews at the podium.
Gobert last appeared on the podium on Monday, 9 March, right after the Utah Jazz shootaround. After the interview, he proceeded to touch every microphone on the stage, showing his fearlessness for COVID-19. It is believed that many people have made contact with those microphones after Gobert.
With the development of Gobert’s story, the NBA also cancelled the game between the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. The reason was to take extra caution because one of the referees assigned to work in the game also worked a Utah Jazz game earlier this week.
The league ultimately suspends the season “until further notice.”
Jazz player Emmanuel Mudiay was also out because of an illness. There is no news he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The rest of the players of the Utah Jazz who have played in the past 10 days were asked to self-quarantine.