Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2020
9:45 p.m. PT UPDATE: More than four hours after the Thunder and Jazz were scheduled to tip-off, the Jazz remain in Chesapeake Energy Arena as the team waits for their test results. ESPN's Royce Young is reporting that the Jazz will stay at the arena and could be busing home from OKC to Salt Lake City.
Results on the Jazz players' tests should be available in roughly four hours. Plans are being made for the Jazz players to stay overnight at the arena. Other team personnel is still being tested at the team hotel.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 12, 2020
In a shocking development to hit the NBA, Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert has tested positive for coronavirus.
Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert has tested positive for coronavirus, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
Sources say Gobert is feeling good, strong and stable — and was feeling strong enough to play tonight.
In the wake of the latest news, the NBA has suspended its season.
Following Rudy Gobert's positive COVID-19 test, the NBA is in an indefinite suspension. https://t.co/h7YpWMrvGE— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
It was a wild scene in Oklahoma City before the Thunder and Jazz game.
Wednesday's game at Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC was postponed after players were sent back to the locker room prior to tip-off.
Right as it seemed the game would start, OKC’s public address announcer told the Thunder crowd that the game would be postponed "due to unforeseen circumstances."
Jazz-Thunder game has officially been postponed. Fans have been asked to leave Chesapeake Energy Arena. pic.twitter.com/i0rm4khahI— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 12, 2020
Team officials went back to the locker room after starting lineups were announced with officials leaving the floor before the announcement was made.
Thunder and Jazz players were sent back to the locker room as officials wait for confirmation from the NBA to start the game. pic.twitter.com/xW9sC7OKN7— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
ESPN's Royce Young explained what happened next:
.@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
There was concern raised with both Jazz big man Rudy Gobert and Jazz guard Emmanuel Mudiay listed as out due to illness prior to Wednesday’s game.
Plus, there is the fact that Gobert touched reporters microphones just days ago while trying to make light of the coronavirus outbreak.
After fans had left, the arena's custodial staff was seen disinfecting the Jazz bench.
They’re now wiping down the Jazz’s bench area. pic.twitter.com/uf8TsA8CrR— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 12, 2020
In the wake of the spread of COVID-19, the NBA will close its doors to fans, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
After a call with the NBA's Board of Governors where they reached a consensus on the league's season going forward without fans attending games.
New story filed to ESPN:
The NBA’s Board of Governors shared a consensus on Wednesday to continue the season playing games without fans in arenas amid the coronavirus crisis, and Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to move in that direction with a decision on Thursday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 11, 2020
The league was entertaining the idea of postponing the games, as well. But, it was a less popular option.
Several teams were willing to put the games on hiatus, but the rest wanted to move toward eliminating fans from arenas to continue playing games, sources tell ESPN. One team wanted to keep status quo until a governmental/public mandate dictated change: The New York Knicks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2020
Adam Silver was expected to make the decision to bar fans from NBA arenas official Thursday.
COVID-19 has affected over 124,000 people worldwide and accounted for 4,584 deaths. More than 1,000 cases are confirmed in the United States.