Coronavirus: NBA suspends season after player tests positive for Covid-19

The mid-game suspension of the Jazz versus Thunder tie was followed by a hold on the entire league

David Maclean
New York
Thursday 12 March 2020 02:40 GMT
Spectators were stunned when the game was called off
Spectators were stunned when the game was called off (NBA)

The NBA has suspended its season after a player tested positive for coronavirus.

A Utah Jazz player was tested and the positive result reported shortly before the team's tip-off at Oklahoma City Thunder.

The affected player was not at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, but the tie was cancelled anyway.

After a long conversation among the officials, the warmed-up teams went back to the locker rooms, the game was called off and the officials left the floor.

The NBA later announced that games would be suspended until further notice.

A spokesman said: "The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

According to reports, the player who tested positive is centre Rudy Gobert, who joked around with reporters about coronavirus earlier in the week by intentionally touching all of their microphones at the end of a press conference.

It is believed that players for both teams are now being monitored, quarantined and tested in the locker rooms.

The public address system merely cited 'unforeseen circumstances' for the cancellation.

Fans will received ticket refunds, the team said.

It came on a night of high drama, as President Donald Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from Europe to the US - minus the UK - and Tom Hanks revealed that he and his wife have been diagnosed with the virus.

Earlier on Wednesday it was revealed by the NCAA that the highlight of the college season - the March Madness tournament - would be played without fans present as a precaution.

The NBA had favoured playing games behind closed doors in the short-term, but the player diagnosis appears to have prompted the stronger measure.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in