NBA Season on Hiatus due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Adam Pietrzak '21

The National Basketball Association announced on Wednesday, March 11  that it will be suspending the 2019-2020 regular season on Thursday until further notice, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

The NBA’s G-League announced Wednesday night that they would be suspending their season as well. 

The NBA made the decision following the news that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the Coronavirus. 

League commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday that it is “frankly too early to tell” what will happen, but that the NBA hiatus could last “30 days, or until mid-June.”

The speculation of a “suspended season” started late Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, as the league postponed the game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to tipoff due to “unforeseen circumstances.” The Thunder players were allowed to leave the arena but the Utah Jazz were quarantined in the arena until they were cleared by the Oklahoma and Salt Lake City public health organizations to return to Utah. 

Results from Utah’s tests concluded another player on the team, guard Donovan Mitchell, had also tested positive. 

Along with that, Detroit big man Christian Wood also tested positive. 

All players from the Thunder will also be tested for COVID-19 after Gobert’s and Mitchell’s test results. 

Thunder PA announcer Mario Nanni assured fans that they were “all safe and to exit the arena in an orderly fashion” after the game was postponed. 

Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was “shocked” by the news of the season’s cancelling, following the team’s 113-97 win over the Denver Nuggets. Cuban said that the news was “crazy and can’t be true, but that he trusts Adam,” sources tell ESPN. He also added the news that teams will still be permitted to hold practices but should not have visitors from out of town. 

According to ESPN, The NBA also postponed the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings “out of an abundance of caution.” 

Teams who had played the Jazz within the past ten days (Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons) were told to self-quarantine, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. 

Pistons guard Langston Galloway mentioned how he “probably had contact with Gobert and is just taking precautions,” sources tell ESPN. 

NBA superstars LeBron James and Stephen Curry spoke out about the matters. James said it adds to a “year of woe” while Curry tweeted how 2020 “ain’t it,” sources tell Yahoo Sports. 

This whole matter also adds to another speculation: has Atlanta Hawks’ Vince Carter played his final game in the NBA?

The 43 year-old guard/forward had announced prior to the season that 2019-2020 would most likely be his twenty-second and final NBA season.

After the team’s 136-131 loss to the New York Knicks, Carter spoke out, saying it is a “weird way to say I’m calling it a career,” sources tell Bleacher Report.

A good friend of Gobert’s, Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier spoke on the matters. He said, “We just got off the phone with Rudy. He is doing good man. Let’s not panic, everyone. Love you all.” 

Multiple NBA players, such as Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson, have donated money to the team’s arena staff, to make sure they are paid during the NBA’s hiatus. 

So, what will happen next? It’s a very tough time for the NBA and its fans. As the epidemic continues to spread, there will most likely be more and more updates day by day.