The Jazz-Thunder Game Was Postponed Right Before Tip Amid Coronavirus Fears

The expectation around the NBA is that Wednesday night would be the last night of games played in front of fans, as there will reportedly be an announcement tomorrow from Adam Silver relaying the decision of the Board of Governors to continue playing games, but to bar fans from attending.

This comes as the NCAA has already made that decision regarding the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and some local officials have given executive orders to do the same, effecting some NBA teams. The goal is to limit the spread of the virus by banning large gatherings of people where the highly infectious disease can spread tremendously, but there remains the question of what will happen should a player contract the virus, with the expectation that it would put a halt to league business as a quarantine would have to be put in place.

On Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, the start of the Thunder-Jazz game was delayed, with both teams sent to the locker rooms right before tipoff.

There was little in the way of information initially, but the Thunder broadcast relayed that the delay was due to a few illnesses to players — Rudy Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay were both listed as dealing with an illness on the injury report — and the two teams were awaiting clearance from the league to go forward with the game.

The game was officially postponed shortly thereafter and OKC police are closing down the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The PA announcer in the arena issued the following statement to fans:

“Due to unforseen circumstances the game tonight is postponed. You are all safe, take your time in leaving the arena tonight, do so in an orderly fashion.”

According to reports on the scene, both bench areas were wiped down by maintenance officials after the game, and more than 30 minutes after the postponement both teams were still quarantined in their locker rooms.

It is a tense and scary situation in OKC, and we will provide further updates as they become available.