The NBA suspending league operations last Wednesday night appears more and more like a prescient decision as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to spread around the country and globe. Within the NBA, seven players have confirmed positive tests across three different teams (Jazz, Pistons, and Nets), and Thursday brought word of four more positive tests within the league, although the identities of those individuals remains unknown.
The Nuggets announced one member of the organization had tested positive, and shortly after the Philadelphia 76ers revealed three people inside the organization tested positive as well. We do not know whether these individuals are players, coaches, or the essential basketball operations personnel.
Three members of the 76ers organization have tested positive for COVID-19. Team statement: pic.twitter.com/nJakgb8DSM
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) March 19, 2020
Eight teams were told by health officials to get tested due to proximity to the first known cases in the NBA from the Utah Jazz. The Sixers, Lakers, Raptors, Nets, Pistons, Jazz, Nuggets, and Thunder are the known teams right now to have been tested, with the Jazz, Pistons, Nets, Nuggets, and Sixers all having had a positive test — with Lakers results still pending. It is an indication of the widespread nature of the virus, as well as the ease with which it spreads, even among asymptomatic young, healthy adults.
There is, of course, the issue of the league having such apparent ease of access to tests when the general public does not, something both NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA president Michele Roberts have responded to recently. In any case, the number of cases in the league, like in the country, continues to grow as the pandemic remains out of control.