Jazz-Thunder postponed in Oklahoma City as coronavirus concerns swirl around Rudy Gobert
Jazz center Rudy Gobert made a mockery of the NBA’s coronavirus guidelines by going out of his way to touch reporters’ recorders and microphones. Then, he came down with an illness.
It’s difficult not to connect the dots from that episode to tonight’s Jazz-Thunder game in Oklahoma City being postponed.
The Thunder’s team doctor came running onto the court and spoke with officials moments before tipoff, according to Royce Young of ESPN:
.@royceyoung reports that the Thunder-Jazz game was seconds away from tipping off when the Thunder's head medical staffer sprinted onto the floor to talk to referees in Oklahoma City.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
At that point, players and staff were sent back to their respective locker rooms. pic.twitter.com/WsSOU09kVP
Thunder public-address announcer Mario Nanni said, “Fans, we have a slight delay. Waiting for league confirmation to start the game.”
In-arena entertainment continued – awkwardly, amid the uncertainty. Eventually, Nanni delivered a different message:
Was that due to Gobert’s and Emmanuel Mudiay’s illnesses? Though the Utah players were known to be sick earlier in the day, there were more developments closer to the scheduled start.
The Jazz called Gobert questionable, ruled him out then upgraded his status to questionable:
Injury Report:— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 11, 2020
QUESTIONABLE - Rudy Gobert (illness)
QUESTIONABLE - Emmanuel Mudiay (illness)
Rudy & Emmanuel have both been ruled out (illness) for tonight's game.— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 11, 2020
Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune:
I’m now told by Jazz PR that Quin Snyder misunderstood my question and that Rudy Gobert is still listed as questionable to play.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 11, 2020
(I don't believe that for a second, but that's the story they're going with. I mean, the team account tweeted that Gobert was out.)— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 11, 2020
Tony Bradley is starting for the Jazz, team announces. Rudy Gobert is not on the court taking warmups.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 11, 2020
Were the Thunder concerned about Gobert playing? Being around? Is this completely unrelated to coronavirus?
The abrupt cancelation leaves many questions unanswered.
But if related to Gobert’s illness, this is how a plan to continue games quickly turns into a hiatus. In the last week, Gobert has played against the Raptors, Pistons and Celtics.
The game was postponed in Oklahoma City.
Coronavirus concern is spreading much further.