The NBA officially suspended the 2019-2020 season after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for coronavirus, the league revealed in a statement released on Wednesday (March 11).
“A player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. 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,” the statement reads. “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.”
Prior to the announcement, the NBA was reportedly considering hosting games without fans in attendance. The latest update follows the postponement and cancellation of numerous public events including the Coachella and SXSW festivals, the E3 gaming expo, and the World Figure Skating Championships.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to kick off in July, could be next on the list of major events to be cancelled or postponed. In mid-February, the International Olympics Committee created a joint task-force with the Japanese government and the World Health Organization. The IOC noted that it will continue to follow the advice of the WHO. As of now, Tokyo “plans to host safe and secure games.”