NBA suspended indefinitely, days after player jokingly touches every microphone at press conference
With the World Health Organization officially declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the NBA has announced that all games will be suspended from today (Thursday, March 12) until further notice. Per the BBC, the announcement comes after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus.
In a statement, the NBA said: "A player on the Utah Jazz has preliminary tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight's game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"At that time, tonight's game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.
"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."
According to the Athletic and Stadium's NBA reporter Shams Charania, the player is 27-year-old Utah Jazz shootaround Rudy Gobert.
The news comes days after days after Gobert jokingly touched all the microphones during a press conference - seemingly in an attempt to share his fearlessness regarding the disease.Check out Gobert's rather regrettable blunder in the video below:
It is unknown just how many people came into contact with the microphones following the press conference.
CBS Sports reports that the NBA had recently banned all media from accessing locker rooms - with players fulfilling their media obligations at the podium during press conferences.
Just yesterday, the official Utah Jazz Twitter account revealed that Gobert had been ruled out due to "illness".Man describes what it is like to have the coronavirus:
Per the BBC, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently spoke out about the NBA's decision during a game with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday evening. Cuban said:
"I thought this is crazy. It can't be true. It is like out of a movie. Unreal.
"It is not about basketball and money. This is exploding to the point where I think about the families. We are making sure we are doing this the right way."
In a report from the WHO yesterday, they said:
"WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.
"We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.
"Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death."
As of yesterday's report, there have now been more than 118,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.