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In what can only be described as “one of the most surreal nights in sports history,” a positive coronavirus test by the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert has forced NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to immediately suspend the 2019-2020 season with no answers to the question of when the league will return.
The dramatic news of Gobert’s positive test was announced just minutes after the Jazz were to tip-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After the teams had warmed up on the floor of Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City without Gobert, players returned to the locker room after team officials found out about the center’s test results.
The rapid fallout of Gobert’s test sent shockwaves throughout the league, including the handful of games that were playing during the release of the news. The scheduled late game between the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans was postponed after concern that one of the game officials recently called a Jazz game.
Within an hour of President Donald Trump’s address to the United States at around 8 pm on the east coast about the growing concern over the virus, the double-tap that legendary actor Tom Hanks and his wife contracted the virus in Australia and news of Gobert’s infection brought reality to a nation that has be wary of using the term “pandemic” about COVID-19.
For more on the NBA suspension check out our video NBA Postponed and March Madness Prop Bets.
After the Golden State Warriors announced earlier in the day that they would play the Brooklyn Nets to an empty arena after San Francisco officials announced a ban on crowds over 250 individuals, league owners gathered and debated a plan over whether to hold their events without fans or suspend their season.
At the time of the meeting, several hours before the bombshell Gobert announcement, owners leaned toward continuing the season without fans and Commissioner Silver was making preparations to announce this decision on Thursday.
But the plan changed for Silver when the Jazz said in a statement that Gobert “tested negative for influenza, strep throat, and an upper respiratory infection.
The individual’s symptoms diminished over the course of (Wednesday), however, in a precautionary measure, and in consultation and cooperation with NBA medical staff and Oklahoma health officials, the decision was made to test for COVID-19.”
After the surprise announcement, Gobert was taken to a hospital in Oklahoma City for further evaluation and the entire Jazz team is being held under quarantine that could last for up to two weeks.
If the Jazz are sidelined for two weeks, then the earliest we could see basketball might be at some point toward the middle of April, although the players’ health condition will be paramount before plans are made to return to basketball.
For the latest coronavirus news and how it is affecting the sports world check out our other articles on the virus here.
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