The game between the Thunder and the Jazz in Oklahoma City was originally postponed on Wednesday night due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to the league. But it later turned out that Jazz center Rudy Gobert preliminarily tested positive for coronavirus, according to The Athletic.
Soon after, the NBA announced it was suspending its season, according to the website.
Early reports indicated concern around the Jazz center, who was listed as questionable with an illness before the game. Though Gobert’s specific illness is not known, this comes in the midst coronavirus pandemic and two days after he reportedly touched every reporter’s recorder during media availability — with players and writers spaced apart from one another.
“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, not mentioning Gobert’s name. “The individual’s symptonsdiminished 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 Jazz-Thunder game.) Subsequently, the diecision 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 individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City. In coordination witht he NBA and state officials, we will provide updates at the appropriate time.”
Moments before tipoff, officials and coaches conversed before the teams went back to their locker rooms.
A little while later the NBA decided to call the game, drawing boos from the crowd. The Thunder PA announcer said: “The game tonight has been postponed. You’re all safe. Please take your time and leave the arena in an orderly manner. You’re all safe.”
Earlier, the NCAA made a decision to ban fans from attending its men’s and women’s basketball games due to the pandemic.
On Thursday, it was announced the Nets and Warriors game in San Francisco will be played without fans.