In a truly unprecendented step, the NBA is suspending its season after tonight’s games following Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19.
Per the NBA press release:
The results from the test came in mere moments before the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz were scheduled to tip off in Oklahoma. The referees paused the start of the game while everyone confirmed, then the teams left the floor. Soon after, fans were sent home as the game was postponed.
Within an hour, the test results leaked to the media with The Athletic’s Shams Charania posting:
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.
Moments later, he reported the season was suspended with the above statement from the NBA following soon after.
It’s important to note a suspension does not mean the season is done, rather, it seems that the league will make assessments as quickly as possible and make a decision on if andor when to resume the season.
ESPN caught Dallas owner Mark Cuban’s reaction to the news live:
Earlier today, the injury report noted Rudy Gobert’s illness just two days after the below incident where he mocked the panic and touched numerous microphones following his press availability.
Is this the Rudy Gobert microphone incident in question? pic.twitter.com/5pzIuvGMGd— Eagle-Eyed Social Media User Dan Why-Ner (@DanWeiner) March 12, 2020
We’ll have more as the situation develops.
UPDATE: On the sideline of the Mavericks-Nuggets game currently being played, Tom Rinaldi interviewed Mark Cuban, who touched on a variety of topics including his reaction to the news (“it’s more like a movie than reality”) what he thought of the NBA’s reaction and would come next (“I trust [NBA Commissioner] Adam [Silver]”) and taking care of the hourly employees with the team and at American Airlines Center who would presumably be without work for some period of time (“we’ll have to get a program in place to take care of [them]”).