NBA season suspended amid Coronavirus outbreak!
A multitude of sporting events around the globe has been canceled over the past few weeks due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). As of Tuesday evening, there have been over 116,000 coronavirus cases on a global scale, while more than 4,000 people have died.
Last night, it was the basketball fans’ turn to be in shock after the NBA announced it was suspending the season as the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States. This happened after NBA announced that a Utah Jazz player has been tested positive for Covid-19. Both Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz teams were on the court and ready to kick off the match when the officials kicked in and told the players to go to the locker rooms.
The affected player was not in the arena and his name hasn’t been told to the press by NBA, but rumors are that Rudy Gobert is the player who has been tested positive for COVID-19. Soon after this isolated case.
Here’s Rudy Gobert touching a bunch of reporters’ audio equipment 2 days ago. Today, he tested positive for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Z3Lw1yfCfW— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 12, 2020
The NBA said in a statement:
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 NBA is suspending gameplay following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA’s suspension comes during an exciting season with both Lakers and Clippers fighting for the crown. On the other hand, the league was hit in January after one of the NBA’s all-time legends, Kobe Bryant, was killed in a helicopter crash.
As for the rest of the players of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz, they were waiting to be tested for the Coronavirus. Furthermore, the Utah Jazz staff and players will be quarantined in Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end here as Utah Jazz have already met a couple of other teams such as Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, which means that those players need to self-quarantine and probably take the Coronavirus tests.
The cancellation of the NBA season is huge and we will probably assist to other cancellations such as the MLB Opening Day and also the NHL and NBA stretch runs approach.
The breakdown of postponements and cancellations of sporting events
Basketball - The NBA season has now been suspended until further notice. The NCAA announced that the college basketball tournaments would be played with only essential staff and limited family attendance.
MLB - the regular season hasn’t started yet, but we can expect a delay after the NBA decided to cancel the season.
Tennis - We already know for sure that one of the biggest US tournaments, Indian Wells, has been canceled and won’t be held this month. Furthermore, the FED Cup finals, which was supposed to take place in Budapest in April, have been postponed.
Football - Football seems to be the sport with the most cancellations and postponements. Fixtures across Europe and other parts of the world are being played in empty stadiums to help prevent the virus outbreak. France, Germany, Greece, Romania and several other countries decided to continue their football schedule, but without any spectators.
Manchester City vs Arsenal game has also been postponed, which is the first Premier League match to be postponed despite the virus spread is not that severe in the United Kingdom.
Two Champions League games have already been played without fans: Valencia v Atalanta and Paris Saint Germain v Borussia Dortmund, and two more to follow: Barcelona v Napoli and Bayern Munich v Chelsea, both on March 18.
A couple of Europa League games will also take place without spectators, while both Getafe and Roma’s fixtures in the competition have been canceled. Getafe said they would not travel to Italy for this game, while Roma’s plan wasn’t authorized to land in Spain.
The English Premier League has announced that all of its games will be played behind closed doors which could be implemented as soon as Thursday, March 12. UEFA will also meet to discuss the possibility of suspending the Champions League and Europa League competitions.
Italy, which is the most affected country in Europe, has decided to cancel all the domestic sporting events for the next three weeks.
Summer Olympics - although officials continue to maintain their position that the Olympics will proceed as scheduled in Tokyo in July - August, the flame lighting ceremony in Greece on Thursday will be held without spectators.