Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus has forced the NBA to suspend all games indefinitely. The league notified fans about the suspension of the 2019-20 season stating they will use the hiatus to figure out the next steps in regards to the pandemic. With the fate of the current season hanging in the balance, fans flocked over to social media with several queries regarding the NBA suspension. NBA commissioner Adam Silver finally addressed the situation by penning a letter for the fans explaining the decision.
The letter, which has since been released on NBA.com, states the 'temporary suspension' was put forth to safeguard the health and well-being of fans, players and everyone connected to the game. Silver further confirmed that the hiatus will last at least 30 days and the season will be resumed 'if and when it becomes safe for all concerned'.
Adam Silver pens letter to NBA fans. pic.twitter.com/ANW4bxnE98— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) March 13, 2020
The letter further reads, 'We will continue to coordinate with infectious disease and public health experts along with government officials to determine safe protocols for resuming our games. As we develop the appropriate course for future NBA games and events, we will keep you informed of any changes as soon as they happen. Tickets already purchased for a postponed game will be honoured when the game is rescheduled. If games are not played or played in an empty arena, teams will work with fans on a credit for a future game or a refund.'
Silver insisted the coronavirus outbreak remains 'a complicated and rapidly evolving situation' and urged all NBA supporters to look out for one another.
Adam Silver also appeared on Inside the NBA to explain the league's decision to suspend all activities in and around the NBA. During the interview on the show, Silver admitted there's a possibility that the current season could be cancelled if the outbreak in the country continues to worsen. However, the NBA commissioner noted that the officials are biding their time before making the final call over the season.
Within the span of a day, all major sports leagues in the United States have been either postponed or suspended. MLS and NHL suspended their respective seasons. The 2020 NFL Draft could be postponed while MLB has cancelled its spring training and could possibly delay the start of the 2020 season.
Meanwhile, Jazz star Donovan Mitchell became the second player in the NBA to test positive for coronavirus after Rudy Gobert. The entire Jazz roster will be self-quarantined and other NBA franchises have also taken some protocols to avoid a further outbreak.
Under such dire circumstances, the NBA has reportedly urged its teams to conduct 'educational meeting' for the player and staffs at the earliest. According to reports, the league has also laid out several protocols for the 30 teams.
The NBA has informed all 30 teams on policies effective immediately and through March 16, including:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
- All players must remain in market of team
- Players remain home as long as possible
- NO group workouts, practices
- Team physicians/trainers speak to each player once a day