NBA to suspend season after Utah Jazz player tests positive for COVID-19

Basketball fans leave Chesapeake Energy Arena after it is announced that an NBA basketball game between Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City has been postponed, March 11, 2020. | Photo by Kyle Phillips via the Associated Press, St. George News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The NBA has announced it is suspending the season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The test result was reported just before the tip-off of the Jazz’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena Wednesday night, according to a press release from the NBA.

At that time, the game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.

The starting lineups were announced, and it appeared the game was ready to start. Then, after conversation among officials, the teams went back to the locker rooms and the officials left the floor, according to the Associated Press.

The Thunder mascot and their hype crew, the Storm Chasers, tried to keep a full house of fans entertained during the delay. The halftime entertainment was moved up. Finally, the announcement that the game was called off came about 35 minutes after the scheduled start time.

The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of Wednesday’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the NBA release.

Written by CLIFF BRUNT, Associated Press sports writer.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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