Rudy Gobert’s positive test for coronavirus led to the suspension of the NBA season on Wednesday night. The decision was made after Gobert’s illness caused the late postponement of the Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game moments before tip-off.
Gobert’s all-star teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday morning, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Per Wojnarowski, Gobert was reportedly, “touching other players and their belongings” prior to testing positive for the virus. Wojnarowski described Gobert’s behavior as “careless.”
Gobert’s Jazz teammates were quarantined in the Oklahoma City locker room and tested for coronavirus following the postponement of the game and news of Gobert’s positive test.
Mitchell addressed his diagnosis on Instagram, writing ”Hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and the well being of those around them.”
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Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them. I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the @utahjazz who have been so supportive. I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help❤️
Gobert apologized on Instagram and admitted to being careless.
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I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus . I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.
As the league braces for the next steps, it’s becoming clear Gobert was careless with his symptoms before the testing positive for the virus. On Monday, after the league instituted new rules that media must stand at least six feet from players, Gobert was seen touching media microphones as he exited a press conference:
The moment was originally reported by Eric Walden, who covers the Jazz for the Salt Lake Tribune.
As part of the Jazz’s COVID-19 response, shootaround availability was done in the ZBBC media room today rather than on the court. As Rudy Gobert got finished discussing the situation, he stood up, leaned over and made it a point to touch every mic and recorder in front of him.— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 9, 2020
Gobert would be listed as questionable by the Jazz two days later for the game against the Thunder. A tweet comparing both reports side-by-side was widely passed around the internet by NBA fans.
Injury Report:— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 11, 2020
QUESTIONABLE - Rudy Gobert (illness)
QUESTIONABLE - Emmanuel Mudiay (illness)
Coronavirus is not a joke. Everyone needs to be careful.
Coronavirus was officially declared as a pandemic Wednesday afternoon by the World Health Organization. Because of the contagious nature of the virus, the league had no choice but to suspend the season once Gobert became its Patient Zero by testing positive.
Per a report from Wojnarowski, teams that faced the Jazz in the last 10 days must now be quarantined.
Players from teams the Jazz have played within the past 10 days were told to self-quarantine, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Those teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.
Follow Vox for more coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll update this story as it develops.