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 basketball fans’ turn to be shocked 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 has not been given to the press by the NBA, but rumors are that Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert is the player who has tested positive for COVID-19. Soon after this isolated case.
NBA Statements on Suspension
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.
Suspensions and Precautions Around the Leagues
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.
This means that the beloved March Madness tournament games will have no fans in attendance. Further talks will be had to discuss moving the Final Four games to a more remote location. The games are set to take place in Atlanta.
NHL - The league has already banned media and unnecessary personnel from entering player locker rooms. The professional hockey league is expected to make statements on further precautions today. A suspension of the league would take place less than a month before the start of the NHL playoffs.
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.
Soccer - Soccer 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 game to be postponed despite the fact that the spreading of the virus has not yet been severe in the United Kingdom.
Two Champions League games have already been played without fans: Valencia vs Atalanta and Paris Saint Germain vs Borussia Dortmund, with two more to follow: Barcelona vs Napoli and Bayern Munich vs 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 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.