NBA Season Suspended After Player Tests Positive For Coronavirus
The NBA has suspended the season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus.
Just before tip-off between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder, fans at the Chesapeake Energy Arena were told to leave after the game was called off.
Jazz player Rudy Gobert was tested for COVID-19 after feeling ill prior to the game and he was reportedly taken to a local hospital.
Teammate Emmanuel Mudiay was also taken for testing.
Gobert, who was seen touching microphones at a press conference days before while making a joke about the virus, has since been confirmed to have COVID-19.
The NBA initially said games would continue behind closed doors but have since taken the extraordinary step of suspending the season altogether.
"The NBA is suspending gameplay following the conclusion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice," it said.
"The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."
The match between Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets was still being played out when the news broke of the season suspension.
Video of the Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, shows him looking at his phone and yelling before clutching at his chest.
Speaking to ESPN while still watching his team, Cuban called the suspension is "crazy".
"This can't be true... it seemed more like out of a movie than reality, " he said.
Players have begun reacting on social media to the suspension of the season as well.
Hours before the announcement Boston Celtic player Jaylen Brown tweeted "#STOPTHESPREAD" along with a number of other tweets calling for the public to take precautions.
"It may not be about you but there are people who are at risk; elderly and people fighting off other infections etc, please stay home if you can," he said.
Evan Fournier, guard for Orlando Magic, tweeted an update on his national teammate, Gobert.
"Was just on the phone with Rudy. He is doing good man. Lets not panick (sic) everyone. Love you all," he said.
The NBA news comes as actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, confirmed they had tested positive to COVID-19 while in Australia.
Hanks is currently on the Gold Coast filming Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley film for Warner Bros.
The National Hockey League said it would provide an update on its own season's future on Thursday.
"The National Hockey League is aware of the NBA's decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus," it said in a statement.
"The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating options."
The world's football leagues are also in question after Juventus player Daniele Rugani tested positive on Wednesday.
Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Greek football team Olympiacos and English team Nottingham Forest, tested positive to the virus on Tuesday.
As a result, The match between Arsenal -- who played Olympiacos with Marinakis in attendance two weeks ago -- and Manchester City has been postponed.
A number of Europa League games have been postponed because they were slated to be played in Spain and Italy.
The Premier League is expected to follow the Champions League and other European leagues in playing matches behind closed doors.