The NBA is suspending the 2019-20 season. The announcement came after a player for the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus.
The league announced the decision, which will go into effect after Wednesday’s slate of games, after a bizarre scene in Oklahoma City, where a game between the Thunder and the Jazz was cancelled seconds before tipoff.
According to the Associated Press, Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was listed as questionable with an “illness” before tip-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, has contracted the coronavirus resulting in the immediate suspension of all games until further notice.
Pregame introductions were reported to have taken place at Chesapeake Energy Arena but before the game began, after a conversation among officials, both teams were sent back to their respective locker rooms.
After a 35-minute delay from the scheduled tip-off, the game was officially postponed along the remainder of the league’s regular season games indefinitely.
Earlier today, the Golden State Warriors announced all upcoming home games were slated to be played without fan attendance after the city of San Francisco placed a two-week moratorium on gatherings over 1,000 people.
The NCAA, along with each of the power-5 conferences (Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 SEC, and ACC) announced similar measures for their respective tournaments which were scheduled to be held over the weekend and in the coming weeks.
As coronavirus continues to spread across the country, this is perhaps the first of many league-wide halts to occur in professional and collegiate sports.
“The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tipoff of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, tonight’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena,” the league said in a statement. “The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report