Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus; NBA season suspended

Sports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has preliminarily tested positive for coronavirus, according to ESPN.

The NBA suspended its season “until further notice” after a Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for COVID-19. The announcement came only hours after the majority of the league’s owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.

The Jazz organization and Utah state officials confirmed the preliminary positive virus test, but they did not identify Gobert as the affected player. Gobert was ruled out with an unspecified illness before Wednesday night’s game.

“We wish this player a full and speedy recovery, and appreciate the work of health officials in Oklahoma to test a member of the Utah Jazz for COVID-19, as well as their prudent decision to test the entire team at this time,” said Governor Herbert and Lt. Governor Cox in a prepared statement.

After the entire team was tested, the Jazz bus finally left the arena at approximately 1:00 AM central time.

RELATED: BYU, Utah State to play NCAA Tournament games in empty arenas because of coronavirus

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

The test result, the Utah Jazz said, was reported shortly before the scheduled tip-off time for the Utah at Oklahoma City game. Players were on the floor for warmups and tip-off was moments away when they were told to return to their locker rooms. About 30 minutes later, fans were told the game was postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Players from teams the Jazz have faced within the past 10 days are being told to self-quarantine, a source told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The teams include Cavaliers, Knicks, Celtics, Pistons, and Raptors.

After Gobert’s media availability on Monday, he playfully touched all the microphones and recording devices as a joke, appearing to make light of new rules for reporters amid the virus outbreak.

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