Utah Jazz

Players react to NBA suspending 2019-20 season amid coronavirus concerns

Players react to NBA suspending 2019-20 season amid coronavirus concerns

The NBA made the right decision Wednesday night to suspend its 2019-20 season amid concerns over the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The first player to test positive for coronavirus reportedly was Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. This development resulted in the postponement of Wednesday night's game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Shortly after, the league officially announced the suspension of the season. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell also has tested positive for coronavirus, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday morning.

There is no official timetable for when the season could resume. The league and its teams wisely are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their players and staff. For example, the Boston Celtics announced all of their players will be tested for coronavirus.

Here's a roundup of reaction from NBA players on the events of the last few days.


Celtics release statement, provide update on status of players

Report: Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tests positive for coronavirus

Report: Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tests positive for coronavirus

Donovan Mitchell is the second Utah Jazz player in the last 24 hours to test positive for coronavirus.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Mitchell's situation Thursday morning. 

The Jazz confirmed via a statement that one additional player (presumably Mitchell) has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for this virus. This development resulted in the league postponing Utah's game against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. Shortly after, the league announced it was suspending the 2019-20 season.

Mitchell also reportedly visited the Encore Boston Harbor Casino last week while the Jazz were in town to face the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

According to NBA.com's matchup stats, Marcus Smart spent the most time of any Celtics player guarding Mitchell on defense when these teams played March 6.

Conversely, the C's player Mitchell defended the most when the Jazz were on defense also was Smart.

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, "Players the Jazz have faced within the past 10 days are being told to self-quarantine." The Celtics, as noted above, are among the teams that played the Jazz in the last 10 days.

There is currently no official timetable for when the season could resume.

Jackie MacMullan: This is 'worst case scenario for the NBA'

Jackie MacMullan: Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus 'worst-case scenario for NBA'

Jackie MacMullan: Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus 'worst-case scenario for NBA'

The NBA made the decision Wednesday to suspend its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

The news of Gobert's positive test led to Wednesday night's Jazz-Thunder game in Oklahoma City being postponed minutes before tip-off. The NBA's announcement came shortly thereafter.

ESPN's Jackie MacMullan joined NBC Sports Boston's "Boston Sports Tonight" to discuss the NBA's reaction to the pandemic, and how this is exactly the kind of situation the league hoped to avoid.

This is the worst-case scenario for the NBA. What we had heard all along from the very beginning was that their biggest concerns was one of the players testing positive. And if that happened, we had all been told, that it was gonna have to be shut down, and you can understand why. And so, for this to happen minutes before a game in Oklahoma City -- pretty shocking that it came down to the final minutes like that.

And as we speak, those players are being quarantined. Both Oklahoma City and Utah Jazz players and coaches are being quarantined at this moment. So the question is, where did Rudy Gobert get it? How long has he been affected? There were however many thousand people at TD Garden last Friday. The Utah Jazz played in that building.

It has far-reaching tentacles. And this is the one thing the NBA was hoping to avoid. They knew once one of their players got it -- and I kept saying to them once they banned the media, 'What about the officials? What about the officials who fly commercially, who interact with people in airports and in these arenas and touch the ball, and then hand it to the players? What about them?' So it almost seems that this was inevitable to me in some ways.

As a result of Gobert testing positive for coronavirus, all teams that have played against the Jazz within the last 10 days have reportedly been advised to self-quarantine. That, of course, includes the Boston Celtics.

Also appearing on "Boston Sports Tonight," Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated stated there "isn't a lot of optimism the NBA season will resume." It's much too early to assume the season will be canceled, but this certainly emphasizes the concern the NBA has expressed about the coronavirus outbreak.

The NCAA announced Wednesday it will play its championship events -- including both men's and women's Division I tournaments -- as scheduled without fans in attendance. Now that NBA has suspended its season, it may be in NCAA's best interest to follow suit.