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Twilight-Zone: NBA Suspends Season After Rudy Gobert Tests Positive with COVID-19

Commissioner Adam Silver and The NBA have officially suspended its 2019-20 season after news hit the airwaves that Rudy Gobert, the star center of the Utah Jazz had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Jazz were in Oklahoma City for a road game against the Thunder when the team was informed right before tip-off that Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19.

Adam Silver wasted no-time and immediately suspended the game and the rest of the NBA season in a matter of minutes issuing the following statement:

NEW YORK — 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 Wednesday’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.  At that time, Wednesday’s game was canceled.  The affected player was not in the arena.
 
The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of Wednesday’s schedule of games until further notice.  The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Silver is widely regarded as an excellent commissioner by both owners and players and clearly handled the breaking news in the right fashion. The NBA was already in the process of trying to figure out how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and planned on making announcement on Thursday.

The rumor mill had the NBA continuing to play games in empty arenas, but when Rudy Gobert tested positive it was clear to the NBA and Adam Silver that the games must not go on. Silver who appears to be well informed about Covid-19 wasted no-time in also preventing the Pelicans vs Kings game from starting.

Reaction from around the league and fans has all been supportive, but like The Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cubans reaction, we are all in shock.

At this point it is unknown when the next NBA game will take-place, but on a personal note I’d like to thank Adam Silver and the NBA for grasping the seriousness of COVID-19 pandemic and handling the situation quickly with a touch of class.

Statement from the Utah Jazz

This morning a player on the Utah Jazz tested negative for influenza, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection. The individual’s symptoms diminished over the course of today, 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. 

A preliminary positive result came back right before tip-off of the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City game. Subsequently, the decision was correctly made by the NBA to postpone the game. When it was determined that the individual would be tested, we immediately informed the league office. The health and safety of our players, our organization, those throughout our league, and all those potentially impacted by this situation are paramount in our discussions. 

We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials and the NBA to determine how to best move forward as we gather more information. The individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City. In coordination with the NBA and state officials, we will provide updates at the appropriate time. 

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