NBA Suspends Season as Coronavirus Afflicts Top Players

Mahlik Campbell

sports /
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 28: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Shortly after the NCAA shared its decision to host March Madness without the presence of fans, the NBA ruled to indefinitely suspend the 2020 season.

The extreme move was prompted by a sudden discovery that Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. Just minutes before the Jazz were set to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, OKC's team doctor rushed onto the court to let NBA officials know about Gobert's diagnosis, leading them to postpone the game.

While the illness is no laughing matter, the way that Gobert played himself and became patient zero in the NBA is pretty comical. During a Monday press conference, the 27-year-old Frenchman made it a point to rub his hands all over the mics, seemingly to show how little he felt threatened by the disease.

As they say, life comes at you fast.

Also, per a tweet from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Gobert has been acting carelessly in the locker room and around his teammates lately, touching them and their belongings. Unfortunately, Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Thursday morning.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst later reported that players from teams the Jazz have recently played have been told to self-quarantine. Those teams include the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors.

Before suspending the season for at least two weeks and likely longer, the NBA announced it was limiting locker room access to only essential team personnel. As the the spread of the disease became more serious, the NBA started discussing plans to ban fans from attending games.

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was quick to share his thoughts about the suspension and its extended impact as the Mavs were wrapping up a game against the Denver Nuggets. "It's not about the team, it's about the country and life in general," he said. "What about all the people who work here on an hourly basis? We'll put together a program for them, but there's just so many things that go through your head."

Let's hope the NBA is able to minimize the negative effects of the virus in the coming weeks. 🙏