NBA/NCAA COVID-19 Update: Official Statements, League Reactions, Hoiberg Hospitalized, Quarantines, More

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NBA/NCAA COVID-19 Update: Official Statements, League Reactions, Hoiberg Hospitalized, Quarantines, More

Chicago Bulls

None of this feels real.

The NBA has suspended its season indefinitely following the shocking news that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. On Wednesday night, right before the Thunder and Jazz tipped-off at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City, both teams were sent back to the locker room and fans in attendance were told to exit the arena. For more on the initial news and report, make sure to check out our first post here.

Over the next few hours, heck days, I’m sure we’ll continue to get flooded with information about how the NBA plans to deal with this situation. Of course, our plan is to keep you posted on everything, and that includes the immediate fallout we’re seeing tonight. So let’s take a look at some of the reactions and information already trickling out around the league.

  • First and foremost, the NBA released an official statement on tonight’s event, saying the league will suspend games “until further notice.”

  • I’m not quite sure if/when we’ll get a projected timetable for how long this suspension will last. Earlier tonight, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared the league was considering either moving forward with no fans in arenas or placing the season on hiatus. A decision was expected to come Thursday morning, but clearly the Gobert bombshell called for an immediate response. It’s impossible to estimate how long it’ll be before the league resumes play. I’m sure many players, coaches, and team personnel around the league will have to be tested for COVID-19. And if that’s eventually figured out, chances are the league would resume playing with limited attendance. I want to expect a quick return, but we’re truly dealing with unprecedented circumstances.
  • A reason like this is exactly why I envision this process taking some time.

  • The NBA made the right decision and promptly postponed the game.

  • The Utah Jazz released the following statement:

  • And the Governor of Utah released THIS statement:

  • The quick reaction to exit the arena was just as much a surprise to the players as it was to us. According to ESPN’s Royce Young, Chris Paul went over the Jazz bench to see what was wrong, only to be turned away.

  • As far as we know right now, none of the players have been able to leave the arena. Everyone is quarantined in their respective locker room, and there has been no information shared on when players or team personnel will be able to leave.
  • I’ve seen some confusion about whether or not Gobert was with the Jazz tonight. To be clear, he was not. The team was aware of his sickness but didn’t know the severity (that video of him touching the microphones was a couple days ago).
  • Nonetheless, fortunately, Gobert seems to be doing just fine.

  • Interested in what the next step for Gobert might look like? Well, Woj said the NBA was preparing to put any players who tested positive for COVID-19 through a two-week quarantine.

  • Tonight’s events have certainly sent a scare throughout the sports world and, from here on out, nothing should be taken lightly. With that said, former Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg (now coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers) left Wednesday night’s Big Ten Tournament game feeling under the weather and headed to the hospital.

  • The player reactions started to flood in around the league, and like most of us, they were pretty speechless. Zach LaVine commented on the potential COVID-19 issue just yesterday. And one quote really stands out when you consider the possible scale of this issue within really any professional sports league: “It gets scary because it’s unknown. It’s unknown for sports and entertainment people, our little circle, and how it could be affected because you’re around so many people. You go on flights all the time, have so many interactions. You see how easy it spreads, so you just want to make sure everyone is safe and doing the right thing.”

https://twitter.com/CobyWhite/status/1237917901673422852?s=20

  • We all got to see Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s reaction to the news live on ESPN. The Mavs-Nuggets game was in full effect when Cuban clearly received the news on his phone. He proceeded to promptly inform members of the Mavericks organization.

  • Not too much later, ESPN interviewed Cuban, and he gave some much-needed professional and caring answers to key questions. A big concern moving forward will be the workers who rely on their job with the Mavericks to get by. Cuban addressed that issue and said he plans to put a program in place to help those individuals. Hopefully, every single owner in the NBA follows suit.

  • 100% this.

  • Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown also offered some thoughts on the matter and praised the NBA for acting fast.

  • Truthfully, I don’t want to share this video because it makes me cringe so hard. However, if you haven’t seen it, I think you have to. On March 9th, Gobert made light of the coronavirus issue and touched every one of the reporter’s mics/recorders.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.