The 2019-2020 NBA Season Is Officially Suspended Due to Coronavirus (UPDATE)

Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

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UPDATE (March 12, 2020): Rudy Gobert took to Instagram to publicly apologize for his actions, referring to the incident where he touched all the microphones to mock the coronavirus:

“I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment.

The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.

I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”

Gobert released his statement just hours after his teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for COVID-19, making him the second player in the league to contract the virus. “I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help,” he wrote on Instagram.


ORIGINAL STORY (March 11, 2020): The 2019-2020 NBA season has officially been suspended after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski first broke the news on Twitter and was shortly followed by an official statement from the league:

“The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, tonight’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.

The NBA is suspending gameplay following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

ESPN NBA writer Royce Young also previously reported that the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder players were sent back to their locker rooms at the Chesapeake Energy Arena after their supposed game was called off mere seconds before tip-off.

The suspension could also have possibly marked the final game of Vince Carter, who suited up for the Atlanta Hawks with only 19.5 seconds left on the clock. The eight-time NBA All-star closed out the game with a three-pointer and, despite losing to the New York Knicks 131-136, celebrated with his teammates and opponents.

The NBA Playoffs were only a month away and had fans expecting exciting matchups going into the Conference Finals, including the return of LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, the appearance of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks and possibly Zion Williamson‘s first Playoffs season with the New Orleans Pelicans. This year’s Playoffs was also supposed to mark the first absence of Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in seven years as they sit at the very bottom of the Western Conference standings with a 15-50 record.

Elsewhere in sports, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony will not allow spectators due to the coronavirus.

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