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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:

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:

And fans, due to unforeseen circumstances, the game tonight has been postponed. You’re all safe. And take your time in leaving the arena tonight and do so in an orderly fashion. Thank you for coming out tonight. We are all safe. And you can visit for updates on upcoming games. Please drive home safely. And goodnight fans.

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:

Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune:

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.