The NBA has suspended its season until further notice, following the news Wednesday that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. Moments before tipoff, a member of the OKC medical staff came to the floor and spoke to the referees. Shortly after, the teams went back to their locker rooms. Games that were being played at that time were allowed to finish, all other games were postponed and fans were asked to leave.
A shocking development for everyone involved as the situation developed in real-time. Gobert was listed as “out” before the game, and as soon as his preliminary test came in positive, the news spread, and Adam Silver decided to suspend the season for the time being. According to reports, Gobert is feeling fine and was ready to play in the game if the test came back negative.
The primary concern right now is minimizing the spread of the virus. We don’t yet know the incubation period (the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease); the World Health Organization puts it anywhere between 1 and 14 days, “most commonly around five days.” Taking that five-day estimate into account, Gobert has come in contact with 34 other players from the Celtics, Pistons, and his Jazz teammates since Friday.
When it comes to the NBA season, no-one knows for sure. This is an unprecedented event, and decisions will have to be made in consultation with health experts who are also learning about COVID-19 in real-time. We can safely assume that the suspension of the season will last at least several weeks. After that, no one yet knows. We will keep you informed as the story develops, and in the meantime, stay safe and be mindful of using the recommended precautions.