SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN Newsource/AP) — ESPN reports that Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert has tested positive for the coronavirus.
This is a video of him touching the microphones and recording devices on Monday at a press event.
Two days later, Gobert was not feeling well and the Jazz reported he would not play in the Wednesday night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Just before that game tipped-off, the team received test results that Gobert was positive for COVID-19 and the game against the Thunder was cancelled.
Later, in the evening, the NBA suspended the entire season until further notice.
Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards have told its players and staff to self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution because the team played against the Utah Jazz last week.
The Toronto Raptors also said Thursday they are self-quarantining. “Our players, coaches and traveling staff have all been advised to into self-isolation for 14 days,” the team said, also confirming that Toronto players had been tested.
According to our sister station, KTVX, in Salt Lake City, members of the media who covered Gobert on Monday, were urged to reach out to the Utah Department of Health about any concerns they have about potential exposure.
Then there’s Gobert’s own teammates and the Jazz coaches and staff. And everyone he’s been on a plane with in recent days. Or shared a hotel elevator with. Or dined with. Or shook hands with. And so on, and so on.
“I’m sure I probably had contact with him,” Detroit’s Langston Galloway said.
He added, “Staying focused on that moment of interaction with a lot of different people and knowing that at the end of the day you might have touched the ball, you might have interacted with a fan and just being (cautious) with that going forward.”
The NBA shutdown could cost teams well into the hundreds of millions of dollars depending on how long the shutdown lasts. Those teams that have faced Gobert in recent days will likely face some testing. And some of those Jazz reporters said they were getting tested for COVID-19, just in case.
“It’s unprecedented,” Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “I think it’s the prudent thing to do. And what went on in Utah, I don’t know all the information but that just shows you how fragile everything is right now.”
This is the reality of the coronavirus, which was labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday weeks after beginning its havoc-wreaking global run that has sickened well over 100,000 and killed more than 4,000.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the WHO, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
Charlotte coach James Borrego said these are scary times in the NBA, and no one argued.
“They’re all concerned and rightfully so,” Casey said. “Everybody in our league should be concerned. I think everybody in our country right now, more than just basketball, is concerned. We all have to take care of ourselves and look out for our fellow man.”
That’s what Orlando’s Evan Fournier did Wednesday night.
Fournier, a French national teammate of Gobert’s, reached out to him after news of the diagnosis and leaguewide shutdown broke.
“Was just on the phone with Rudy,” Fournier wrote. “He is doing good man. Lets not (panic) everyone. Love you all.”