A period of no NBA basketball is upon us, and it seems as though this will not be over anytime soon. The NBA has officially suspended play after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus or COVID-19.
Gobert was on the morning injury report with an illness and was tested for a variety of illnesses at that point. Gobert was cleared of all illnesses until he popped for coronavirus about 5 minutes before tip-off of the Jazz game in Oklahoma City.
At that point, their game was called off, and the NBA was soon to follow that the entire season would be suspended indefinitely. The entire Jazz team, Thunder team, and certain media were put under quarantine until they got their results back early in the morning.
This is when we also found out that Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the virus.
When it comes to projecting the spread of the virus within NBA circles, the NBA has started to implement measures towards stopping the spread.
They have required all players to stay in their home city, do not have team-related activities, and other precautionary things in an attempt to make this an isolated incident instead of the tip of the iceberg.
Of the 58 people that were tested following the news of Gobert’s results, Mitchell was the only one that tested positive, which is great news for everyone involved and for the general understanding of the virus itself.
The spread of this virus is something that is still heavily debated and researched as we speak, but the fact that Gobert only infected one person in his own locker room is a miracle, especially after reports say that Gobert was seemingly being intentionally touchy in recent days to mock the virus.
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We are in the very early stages of testing these new cases, so we still do not know the rate of things like a faulty test in either direction or the likelihood that you test negative while manifesting itself. But this case was likely a huge concern, and it seems as though the cases spread in this situation have been relatively minimal.
However, we have no idea if other players on other teams have the virus at this point.
The NBA has announced that they will be suspending play for at least 30 days while they reevaluate the situation. I have a feeling that this will be a much longer process unless we can get a lot of free and relatively instant testing where they resume with players basically required to test before every game and still play in empty arenas.
With the outbreak causing stoppages around the world and no true cure to the virus in sight, this is something that will have to pass via time, and it will likely take weeks to return after that time passes.
Obviously, there are many, many options on the table for the NBA right now in an unprecedented situation. There are rumors surrounding the league’s future that include ideas like going straight into playoff games, canceling the season, play-in games for lesser seeds to make the playoffs without a regular season to gain ground in, and a full shift in the entire NBA schedule.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has reported Thursday night that the Lakers’ players seemed to be of the opinion that the NBA plans on resuming the regular season at whatever point that it is safe to return and just moving back everything however many days that we end up being delayed.
This sounds like a logistics nightmare, but it does make sense for the NBA to worry about still meeting their expected total revenue numbers whenever COVID-19 is exiled.
Either way, we have no announced plans and no way of watching real-time NBA for at least the next 30 days and likely longer. Stay safe and remain prepared to see NBA news from all different angles over the coming weeks.