NBA: Everything you Need to Know About the League Suspending Play

With reports of COVID-19 (coronavirus) between player’s health and the disease spreading like wildfire, the NBA has shut down all games until further notice. In this article, I will go over all the news regarding the NBA and coronavirus within it. All of this data is reported as of March 12th, 2020.

NBA Shutdown Information

The NBA temporary shutdown came before the Utah Jazz squared off against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder point guard Chris Paul reportedly asked the Jazz coach “what’s wrong with Rudy (Gobert)” to which the team staff shooed him away from their bench.  

Gobert was not on the court, or in the building at the time, and was tested elsewhere for coronavirus. The test came back positive, and almost immediately after this, the game was postponed. The NBA said that all fans were not in harm’s way and that the game will be moved to a further date. This was then followed by a statement issued by the NBA (shown below)

The NBA concluded the night by stating all games that night were canceled/postponed. This also said that they would be postponing all future games to a further date. There has been no information released yet on whether the season will be canceled as a whole, or if it will continue later this year after the coronavirus has been handled.  

Players impacted

So far we know of two confirmed cases of coronavirus throughout the NBA. These two players are both from the Utah Jazz, center Rudy Gobert and shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. It is believed that Rudy had it first, and then transmitted it to Mitchell as they have lockers directly next to each other.  

The rest of the Utah Jazz origination (58 members both team and staff) have been tested. This led to all negative results aside from the aforementioned Mitchell and Gobert.  

The main issue seen with this is that Gobert has played other teams within this 10 day period of belief to have the disease prior to testing. These 5 teams are Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, and New York Knicks. 

Rudy Gobert & Donovan Mitchell

An issue that has now arisen in this case is the video showing Gobert joking about the disease. He, at the time, was not aware of his contraction of the COVID-19 virus. When Gobert was leaving his interview, he jokingly ran his hands across all of the microphones/voice equipment on the table to show how little he believed he was sick with the disease.   (Video regarding the statement above)

This has ended up becoming a huge focal point, as now there is a chance that the interviewers using those devices after the interview could be at risk of contracting the disease. He has since apologized for his actions, stating that he did not know he had the disease and that he regrets his decision as it could endanger others.

(Rudy’s apology via his Instagram account)

Donovan Mitchell, Rudy’s teammate, has also posted his regards to fans and his thoughts on the situation at hand (shown below in the Instagram post).


Other Players reactions to the closure

Jaylen Brown – The Celtics forward/guard went live almost immediately after this announcement came out. Here is a link to a clip of his video and his thoughts on the closing.

LeBron James – Lakers point guard and all time great Lebron James had a few words to say about the closing. His Twitter post on March 11th said, 

“Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020! . Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe”

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo put out a short but sweet message on his twitter both to his fellow players as well as everyone else reading, in which he said,

“Basketball becomes secondary… Take care of yourselves and your family. Wash your hands often.”

Bill Russell – All time leader in personal championships, Celtics former center Bill Russell had some motivating words for the NBA league Commissioner Adam Silver, saying, 

“David Stern would be proud of Adam Silver & his decision to suspend the rest of the @NBA season. It was the correct call.Keeping everyone safe is priority #1 in times like these. Its a great concern for my generation, be smart and safe.  @MSNBC #coronavirus  #CoronavirusPandemic” 

Vince Carter – One of the longest tenured NBA players of all time, and one of the best of this generation, Vince Carter talked about how this could have been his final game if the NBA closes the season prematurely. He talks about his closure, stating, 

“Such a weird night but I am truly thankful for each and every person during this 22yr journey.

If this is really it, I thank everyone for your love and support for all these years.

B E Z”

Many players are concerned both for their fellow players as well as themselves and their families. This is the main reason why the league has suspended play until further notice. The league knows many fans will be upset with this decision, however the health and wellness of players, staff, and all other members of the NBA is first priority. Keeping all members as safe as possible will be worth the wait, as if not we may not see it for a long time if it continues to spread.

How do you feel about the NBA suspendig play? Leave a comment below.

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