The NBA announced it was suspending its season March 10 after Denver Nuggets center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

It marked only the beginning of a series of postponements and cancellations by professional sports leagues across the country forced by the pandemic, which has since forced lawmakers to issue stay-at-home orders as the virus has infected millions and left even more out of work.

But for the sports world, Gobert’s positive test was a dose of reality for many inside the game. Wizards point guard John Wall sat down with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Showtime’s All the Smoke podcast Thursday and talked about what it was like when he first heard the league was shutting down.

“When you get that [news] and start realizing how serious the virus was, you kinda thought, ‘Everybody has to get tested,’” Wall said.

“Even me, I wasn’t playing I was on the bench but you interact with players, dapping them up throughout the game same with after the game…me having a young son, I’m like, ‘Well, you definitely have to get tested and make sure you don’t have it and make sure you’re not passing it along.’”


The Wizards had played in Denver only 12 days prior to learning that Gobert had tested positive, the team to self-quarantine as a precaution in order to avoid further spreading the disease. Even though he’s sitting out the 2019-20 season while recovering from a torn Achilles, Wall wasn’t taking any chances of allowing his one-year-old son, Ace, to get infected.


“All I’m thinking about [is] that aspect of making sure my family was straight and then worry about myself afterward,” Wall said. “Because I felt like me as a healthy athlete and young, I can fight it more than what a baby could.”

Wall also announced on the podcast he’s expecting a second son, although he hasn’t announced when the baby is due. The Wizards’ former No. 1 overall pick is hoping to return to the court by the start of the 2020-21 season, rejoining Bradley Beal in the backcourt to help Washington get back into contention after two straight losing seasons.

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