BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The NBA is suspending the season after a player tested positive for COVID-19. According to the Associated Press, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off between Wednesday night’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
WBZ has learned that the Boston Celtics, who are currently in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have been told to self-quarantine. Gobert and the Jazz defeated the Celtics at TD Garden in Boston last Friday. Gobert played 33 minutes against the Celtics, scoring 9 points.
On Wednesday night, starting lineups for the Thunder and Jazz were announced, and it appeared the game was ready to start. Then, after conversation among the officials, the teams went back to the locker rooms and the officials left the floor.
The Thunder mascot and their hype crew, the Storm Chasers, tried to keep a full house of fans entertained during the delay. The halftime entertainment was moved up. Finally, the announcement that the game was called off came about 35 minutes after the scheduled start time.
Earlier this week, the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS temporarily closed access to locker rooms and clubhouses to all non-essential personnel in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The NHL said Wednesday night it is aware of the NBA’s decision, and is continuing to consult with medical experts.
The NCAA announced there would only be “essential staff and limited family attendance” in attendance for upcoming March Madness games.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)