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NBA to suspend season due to coronavirus

  • Published at 10:41 am March 12th, 2020
Basketball

The announcement came shortly after a game between the Utah Jazz and the host Oklahoma City Thunder was called off moments before tipoff

The National Basketball Association announced that it will suspend the season after the Wednesday night schedule until further notice as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came shortly after a game between the Utah Jazz and the host Oklahoma City Thunder was called off moments before tipoff.

According to the NBA, a Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for coronavirus - COVID-19. 

The NBA stated the affected player was not in the arena at the time.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the player in question is Utah center Rudy Gobert, and that players from the Jazz and Thunder were being quarantined at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. 

Players and staff from the Jazz would remain under in Oklahoma City, Wojnarowski reported, and the timetable for next steps was not yet clear.

At the time of the announcement, the Dallas Mavericks' home game against the Denver Nuggets was midway through the third quarter.

ESPN cameras caught Mavericks owner Mark Cuban finding out the news as he looked at a phone while sitting courtside, then walking to the Dallas bench before another man - presumably on the team's staff - took the phone and talked to on-court officials.

Cuban said NBA teams are being permitted to "stay together" and hold practices.

He also turned his attention to team and arena employees certain to be impacted by any prolonged stoppage.

Two other games - the New York Knicks at the Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Hornets at the Miami Heat - were late in the fourth quarter.

All three games were to be allowed to finish before the suspension goes into effect.

The New Orleans Pelicans were also scheduled to play at the Sacramento Kings for a 10:30 p.m. ET tipoff, but the game was officially postponed shortly after 10:30.