NBA suspends season after player tests positive for coronavirus

Jason Owens | Yahoo Sports

The NBA announced on Wednesday that it is suspending its season until further notice amid coronavirus fears.

The announcement arrived shortly after a game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was abruptly postponed.

The extraordinary step is the latest in the United States to limit large gatherings in an effort to stifle the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The news arrives hours after the NCAA announced that its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without fans in the stands. College basketball conferences are falling in line with their championship tournaments.

Meanwhile, sports organizations and municipalities in the U.S. and around the world have either canceled, postponed or limited fan access to sporting events and social gatherings like concerts and conferences. 

Joke gone wrong: Rudy Gobert rubbed his hands on several microphones at a press conference

ZACH MILLER | USA TODAY SPORTS

On Monday, Jazz forward Rudy Gobert tried to make light of growing coronavirus concerns across the county.

Now, the NBA is suspending the season because he has the virus.

Shortly after news of Gobert’s diagnosis became public, video started circulating around social media of Gobert rubbing his hands all over several microphones during a press conference.

https://twitter.com/DanWeiner/status/1237909108071809030

This wasn’t mindless touching of microphones during a press conference, Gobert clearly stops before leaving the room, making a point of touching all the microphones and laughing as he jogged out of the room

Now every reporter who touched those microphones should be tested for the virus, as will every player who took the court with Gobert.

It’s no wonder why the NBA postponed Thursday night’s Jazz-Thunder game when Gobert was experiencing symptoms, then quickly followed by suspending the season when the test came back positive.

The virus has spread quickly across the United States, with more than 1,200 cases and more than 30 deaths reported nationally. Gobert is the first athlete in a major pro sports league to be diagnosed.

The virus has had a large impact on the sports world, as many college basketball conference tournaments are being contested without fans, and the NCAA announced earlier Wednesday that the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without fans.