The NBA season was brought to an abrupt halt on Wednesday night after Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The Jazz and Thunder were just minutes before tip-off when news emerged that players were being told to remain in their respective locker-rooms amid fears that several players may have been exposed to the virus that is rapidly spreading across the globe.
The league had initially decided to proceed with the late game between the Pelicans and Kings in Sacramento before the season was to go on indefinite hiatus, until it emerged that one of the referees slated to call the game had officiated a Jazz game earlier this week.
To add to what has already been one of the most surreal nights in league history, it appeared the Jazz and Thunder, including media members, were under self-imposed quarantine inside Chesapeake Energy Arena until health officials could tell them how to proceed.
Again…great news to hear second hand.
I, as well as the other reporters, could walk out of the arena right now and get on a flight and no one would stop us. The fact that we are still here is out of concern for our own safety and that of our families https://t.co/HJhPIWuyNC
— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) March 12, 2020
Now, it appears that the other teams that the Jazz have played in the last week-plus are being told to self-quarantine as well, although it’s unclear exactly what that would entail, per ESPN.
Players from teams the Jazz have played within the past 10 days are being told to self-quarantine, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Those teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors.
The league, the teams, the media, and everyone else involved have been forced to figure out how to deal with an unprecedented situation in real time as events have unfolded, and it’s clear that the full extent of the ripple effects won’t be known for some time. Making matters more concerning is those teams have played against others in recent days and, as such, have potentially spread the virus even further around the league beyond just those teams — the Pistons and Knicks both played Wednesday evening.
UPDATE: The Raptors will reportedly have players self-quarantine, following the advice of the league and public health officials.
Sources: The Raptors have informed their players to self-quarantine for the next 14 days due to coronavirus situation. Toronto faced Utah and Rudy Gobert on Monday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020