Rudy Gobert’s reported has pushed the NBA into overdrive in regards to combating the disease’s spread throughout the league. To make matters worse, teammate Donovan Mitchell, after being in close proximity to Gobert in recent days, confirmed on Thursday that he also tested positive for the virus.
Fortunately, Mitchell was the only Jazz player or personnel that tested positive for coronavirus out of the 58 tests that were performed on Wednesday night, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
In the interest of preventing future infections, the league announced Wednesday that it would Utah Jazz in the past 10 days have been asked to self-quarantine, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Those teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors., but that does little for players and team personnel who might already be infected. In the interest of protecting others, players on teams that have played against the
The Raptors have echoed the sentiment, telling their players to. This comes after they faced the Jazz on Monday and were in close contact with Gobert and Mitchell.
“The safety of our players, staff, fans and the media who cover our team is paramount,” the Raptors said in a statement on Thursday. “While we are disappointed the NBA season has been suspended because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we completely support the league’s decision.”
The Celtics are also going into self-quarantine following the positive coronavirus tests from the two Jazz players. In addition, all members of the team will be tested for the virus since Boston and Utah did face one another on March 6.
“The safety of our fans, players, staff, and media is of paramount importance to us, and we will continue to monitor developments and provide information as we work with league and health officials through this situation,” the Celtics said in a statement.
While quarantines are likely to expand, teams aren’t racing to conclusions. Knicks team doctor Lisa Callahan told the team not to get tested without having symptoms, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The widespread impact of Gobert’s infection is already being felt, though. A Jazz player that tested positive for the virus — likely Gobert — reportedly worked out at Emerson College’s gym, according to the Berkeley Beacon.
NBA players are human beings. They travel constantly for games, and within those cities, they move around as any other person would. It would be impossible to fully trace everywhere even one infected player has been, let alone any others that might eventually catch the virus. Gobert didn’t help matters whenevery microphone on the podium at a recent media availability.
Considering the virus’ ability to spread asymptomatically, all that can be done now is take precautions. The Jazz are reportedly still in their locker room at Chesapeake Energy Arena and will not be allowed to fly home. The team is considering chartering buses to get its players home, according to ESPN’s Royce Young. That is nearly a 1,200-mile drive that would be expected to take around 17 hours. With so little known about the virus, it’s better for the leagues, teams and players to be safe than sorry