Football, tennis, rugby, baseball- the Coronavirus pandemic has caused several sports fixtures and leagues around the world to get postponed or cancelled. Just a couple of days ago, Italy announced a one month suspension on Serie A. Now, its basketball to follow, as the National Basketball Association (NBA) has just announced its suspension of the current 2019-20 season regarding the virus outbreak.
The news came as a bombshell after yesterday’s clash between Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed after a Jazz player named Rudy Gobert, was tested positive for COVID-19.
The infected player’s test result was reported just before the game was about to start. Although both teams arrived at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City for their pre-match warm-ups, they were shortly called back to the locker rooms. Gobert, the Frenchman who plays as a centre for Jazz, was not present in the arena at that moment.
Shortly after announcing the postpone of the game, NBA released an official statement, regarding the suspension of the upcoming matches. The statement read: “The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of (Wednesday’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 game was cancelled out of an abundance of caution,” the NBA added.
It was also reported by the NBA that they were working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on taking next steps regarding the virus threat. Gobert, the player who was tested positive, was reported to be under the care of health officials in Oklahoma City.
Sources from ESPN have also cited that the Jazz players who were recently in contact with Gobert were told to self-quarantine.
Following the update from NBA, basketball icon LeBron James took it to social media to express his worries regarding the pandemic. “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🙏🏾“ LeBron posted on his official Twitter.
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🙏🏾
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 12, 2020