The NBA announced Wednesday night that it has suspended the regular season.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The decision was made, according to the statement, after a player on the Utah Jazz has “preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.” While the league revealed the team, the player’s name was not announced.
Although the name was not announced, multiple reports said it was All-Star center Rudy Gobert.
The positive test was reported before Utah’s road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena and after it was reported the game was canceled. The NBA said the player was not in the area.
The Utah Jazz player was not the only professional athlete who has tested positive for the coronavirus. Today, Italian soccer club Juventus F.C. revealed that defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for the coronavirus. “The footballer Daniele Rugani has tested positive for Coronavirus-COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic,” the soccer team wrote in the statement. “Juventus Football Club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law, including [for] those who have had contact with him.”
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News of the NBA’s regular season suspension comes during a week when leagues worldwide have taken similar action. Today, the NCAA announced that all March Madness basketball tournament games will be played without fans in attendance.
“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family in attendance,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement today.
Also this week, the Italian National Olympic Committee announced in a statement that all team sports competitions are suspended until April 3. In Japan, the start of the Nippon Professional Baseball regular season was suspended due to coronavirus concerns. And in the U.S., the BNP Paribas Open and the New York City Half Marathon were both canceled.
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