The NBA indefinitely suspended the 2019-20 season Wednesday night after a Utah Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for the coronavirus, the league office announced.
Multiple reports said the player is All-Star center Rudy Gobert. The Jazz were scheduled to tipoff against the Thunder in Oklahoma City when players were sent to their locker rooms and a public address announcer asked fans to leave the stadium. In the release, the league said the player was not in the arena at the time of the announcement.
The NBA said the suspension of all scheduled games is "until further notice" and that the league will "use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the pandemic."
The Bulls flew to Orlando Wednesday afternoon and were scheduled to face the Magic to begin a two-game trip on Thursday. As of late Wednesday, it hadn't been finalized when they planned to fly back to Chicago. Zach LaVine posted "Wow" on his Twitter account shortly after the league's annoucement.
Before and after Tuesday's home victory over the Cavaliers, players and coaches fielded several questions about their concern level regarding the virus. A new media policy was in place in which reporters no longer were allowed to enter the locker room, asking questions in press conference settings with at least six feet between media members and their interview subjects.
"It gets scary because it's unknown," LaVine said Tuesday night. "It’s unknown for sports and entertainment people, our little circle, and how it could be affected because you’re around so many people. You go on flights all the time, have so many interactions. You see how easy it spreads, so you just want to make sure everyone is safe and doing the right thing.”
Before Wednesday's news, talk around the league was that if one player or team official contracted the virus that not only would that team have to be quarantined for two weeks but all teams that team played over the previous two weeks. This ripple effect makes it easy to understand why the league took the action it did.