The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it will suspend the season after the Wednesday night schedule until further notice as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA is suspending its season after a player preliminary tested positive for coronavirus, the league announced Wednesday.
“The NBA is suspending gameplay following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement. “The NBA will use this break to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The announcement came shortly after a game between the Utah Jazz and the host Oklahoma City Thunder was called off moments before tipoff.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the player in question is Utah center Rudy Gobert, and that players from the Jazz and Thunder were being quarantined at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The NBA stated the affected player was not in the arena at the time.
“This morning a player on the Utah Jazz tested negative for influenza, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection,” the Jazz said in a statement. “… 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,” the statement continued.
At the time of the announcement, the Dallas Mavericks’ home game against the Denver Nuggets was midway through the third quarter.
A conversation ensued at the sidelines between the bosses with all the referees, then both head coaches — next thing the announcer at the game was heard telling fans that they were safe and to please leave the arena.