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2019-20 NBA season suspended until further notice

The decision came amid reports that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

Toronto Raptors v Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. And with that, the NBA season is suspended.
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The 2019-20 NBA season has been suspended indefinitely after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. The virus, which was declared a pandemic on March 11 by the World Health Organization, is forcing closures and cancellations throughout the world as public health officials seek to slow the spread.

Although Gobert reportedly was not in the Chesapeake Energy Arena for tonight’s scheduled game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the fact that he’d traveled with the team led league decision-makers to postpone the contest in an attempt to prevent the infection of other players. The NBA then quickly moved forward in announcing its decision to put the season on hiatus until the next steps are determined for the global pandemic.

According to reports, teams that have played the Jazz over the past 10 days have been directed to self-quarantine. Those teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.

The Wizards most recent game was against the Knicks. In the past 10 days, they faced the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, which is one of the coronavirus hot spots.

ESPN NBA writer Royce Young reported via Twitter the developing situation in Oklahoma City before the Jazz/Thunder game was scheduled to tip-off.

Earlier on Wednesday, NBA owners had come to a consensus that the season would either continue without fans in attendance or go on an indefinite hiatus until further review. The positive test later in the day accelerated the timeline for suspending the season.

The COVID-19 virus has swiftly gone from social media jokes to pandemic, and among its casualties are popular sporting events, including the NBA season, NCAA athletic tournaments, the upcoming WNBA season in May, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Although the latter events are a few months away, it’s unclear when it will make sense for large public gatherings to resume.