UPDATE at 9:55 a.m. ET on Mar. 12 — The Washington Wizards’ players, coaches and basketball operations staff will self-quarantine for 3-4 days. The original post is below.
The Washington Wizards’ season has been suspended indefinitely, which Diamond Holton announced last night. We’re just starting to grasp what the impact is for NBA players after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus on Wednesday.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, all teams the Jazz played in the last ten days: the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors were told to self-quarantine by the NBA.
As Diamond noted, the Wizards played the Knicks last Tuesday and even played in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors within the last ten days. The Bay Area is one of the known “hot spots” for the virus. And finally, the Wizards played the Jazz on Feb. 28, just outside of the 10-day window. But the coronavirus could take up to 14 days before symptoms come about, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I am no medical expert, but given the aforementioned circumstances, the Wizards players, coaches and basketball operations staff should self-quarantine themselves immediately. In fact, I’ll take this one step further. Every NBA team’s players, coaches and basketball operations staff should self-quarantine themselves immediately.
Fortunately, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, the Wizards will likely take such measures.
The #Wizards played the Jazz on Feb. 28 and I've been told upon confirmation if Gobert has tested positive, the team will take every precaution at the appropriate time, which of course would mean testing for the virus.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) March 12, 2020
The team's focus is on the health and safety of players
If you think I’m freaking out about, I’m saying this with a straight face. NBA players play shoulder to shoulder with one another. And they all touch the same sweaty basketball in a game among other things. Also, consider this graph below. All 30 NBA teams have played each other at least once within the last FIVE days.
All 30 NBA teams can be connected in just the last 5 days.— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 12, 2020
The NBA made the right decision to suspend this season. pic.twitter.com/jUy3X5zwTj
Yes, NBA team activities can continue. But I don’t think that should happen. It’s true that players, most of whom are in their 20s, are unlikely to suffer severe symptoms. However, players, like anyone else with coronavirus, can transmit it to others, including senior citizens who are more likely to die from the disease — even if the infected never suffer any symptoms.