- Özgür Töre
The NBA has suspended the 2019-20 season Wednesday until further notice due to coronavirus.
The decision announced after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of Wednesday's game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, Wednesday's game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.
The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of Wednesday's schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA’s priority is to fall in line with other companies and organizations and help contain the contagious virus. In fact, the league’s responsibility is far greater because the games are held before the masses in confined areas. These are events where thousands are in close contact with each other -- fans who shake hands, touch guardrails and seats, sneeze and cough, hand money to cashiers and often exchange DNA with players who give autographs. Players touch the same basketball, give bro hugs and fist pumps; the chance of the infection spreading in those situations among the players themselves is heightened, even if they’re not the biggest at-risk group.