NBA suspends season after coronavirus scare
Other pro sports leagues follow suit
March 11, 2020
The NBA is suspending the 2019-20 season. The announcement came after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
The league announced the decision, which will go into effect after Wednesday's slate of games, after a bizarre scene in Oklahoma City, where a game between the Thunder and the Jazz was cancelled seconds before tipoff.
"The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tipoff of tonight's game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, tonight's game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena," the league said in a statement. "The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight'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."
Tests conducted since revealed that Gobert teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the virus, but all other tests on Jazz players and staff came back negative.
On Thursday, other professional sports leagues followed suit:
• Major League Baseball canceled spring training and postponed opening day at least two weeks.
• The National Hockey League suspended its season.
• The G-League, the NBA's developmental league, has also suspended its season.
• United Soccer League, which includes New Mexico United in Albuquerque, suspended the season for a minimum of 30 days.