The 2019-2020 NBA season has been suspended after a Utah Jazz player has preliminarily tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). On March 12, 2020, AT&T’s WarnerMedia subsidiary Turner Sports, which is responsible for operating NBA.com, took to Twitter to release a statement about the suspension.
Marking the 74th season of the NBA, the regular season started on October 22, 2019. The playoffs were originally scheduled to start on April 18, 2020 and end with the NBA Finals in June 2020.
On March 11, 2020, the game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States was cancelled. The officials prohibited the players of the two teams from going to the court and ordered them to stay in the locker room.
Before the game, several Utah Jazz players were dealing with illnesses. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, 27, of France, who tested positive for coronavirus, was not at the Chesapeake Energy Arena during the scheduled game.
Utah Jazz point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, 24, of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was also being tested for coronavirus. It has yet to be confirmed whether or not the Congolese basketball player was positive for the virus.
Born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 5, 1996, Mudiay made his NBA debut in 2015 playing for the Denver Nugget. He moved to the New York Knicks in 2018 and to the Utah Jazz in 2019.
On the other hand, Gobert made his NBA debut in 2013 with Utah Jazz. He was born in Saint-Quentin, France on June 26, 1992.
On March 9, 2020, Gobert played at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA where the Utah Jazz lost to the Toronto Raptors, 101-92. After the press conference in the ZBBC media room following the game, he jokingly touched all of the microphones and recording devices in front of him at the podium.