NBA suspends season after player tests positive for coronavirus
UPDATE: After previously saying it would conduct upcoming championship events without an audience except for "essential staff and limited family attendance," on Thursday the NCAA has now canceled the remainder of Division 1 men's and women's tournament games.
EARLIER: The National Basketball Association announced Wednesday that it is suspending the current season after a player in the league tested positive for COVID-19.
"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonights' schedule of games until further notice," the organization said in a statement. "The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."
The statement added that "a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19," and that the results were reported prior to the Wednesday night's game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The match was canceled, the NBA said, and "the affected player was not in the arena."
The Jazz also issued a statement that said in part, "We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials and the NBA to determine how to best move forward as we gather more information. The individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City. In coordination with the NBA and state officials, we will provide updates at the appropriate time."
Although the NBA and the Jazz didn't name the player, early reports from ESPN and other outlets say it was Jazz center Rudy Gobert who preliminarily tested positive. After the news broke, some observers on social media pointed out that just days earlier, during a press conference, the French athlete appeared cavalier about the coronavirus situation, which has now been declared a "pandemic" by the World Health Organization. In a video, Gobert was seen purposely touching everything on a table, including microphones.
On March 12, Robert confirmed the diagnosis on Instagram and also apologized for his actions.
"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered," he wrote. "At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously."
Earlier Wednesday, the NCAA announced that it would conduct upcoming championship events without an audience except for "essential staff and limited family attendance."
"While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. "The decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes."
Other events that have been canceled or pushed back as a safety precaution include SXSW, Coachella, and numerous concert dates from the likes of BTS and Madonna.
"We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches," Hanks wrote on Instagram. "Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive."
He added, "Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We’ll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves!"