The NBA has suspended its season after a participant on the Utah Jazz preliminarily examined constructive for the coronavirus. In a statement, the NBA stated the check outcome got here simply earlier than the tip-off of Wednesday’s recreation between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The league says the participant was not within the area and the sport was then canceled.

The Utah Jazz says the participant (recognized by a number of media retailers as Rudy Gobert) tested negative for the flu, strep throat and an higher respiratory an infection. “The individual’s symptoms diminished over the course of today, however, in a precautionary measure, and in consultation and cooperation with NBA medical staff and Oklahoma health officials, the decision was made to test for COVID-19.”

The NBA suspended all play on the conclusion of the sport between the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets. Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban was on the recreation and visibly shocked when he discovered the information.

Speaking with ESPN, Cuban stated when he discovered that the season was being known as off, he thought, “This is crazy. This can’t be true.”

Amid rising considerations concerning the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the NBA and its house owners are transferring towards a situation the place video games are performed with important personnel solely and no followers, an individual aware of Wednesday’s convention name with NBA Commissioner Adam SIlver and house owners informed USA TODAY Sports.

The particular person requested anonymity as a result of he was not licensed to communicate publicly concerning the delicate nature of the scenario.

Another situation was mentioned: halting league operations for a time frame. While that concept had some traction, persevering with the season was the favored possibility, the particular person stated.

The league is anticipated to decide Thursday after extra conversations with key stakeholders. The well being and security of gamers and followers stay the league’s high precedence. If the league decides to play video games with no followers, it doesn’t preclude the league from altering its place in a fluid scenario. If a participant contracted the virus, the league might take the daring step of halting play.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Golden State Warriors adhered to San Francisco’s direct ban of any occasions that host at the least 1,000 individuals, and Thursday’s recreation between the Warriors and Brooklyn Nets shall be performed with out followers. The Warriors introduced it can give followers the choice both to obtain a refund or change tickets for future video games.

The league has spoken with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officers for the previous week in order that it might additional educate its groups about security measures and description contingency plans on how it could deal with future video games. In flip, NBA groups have had discussions with staff docs on what security precautions to take, which have included washing fingers usually, avoiding handshakes and minimizing or eliminating autographs.

Earlier Wednesday, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association addressed the subject and mentioned enjoying video games with simply important personnel as one of the best ways to proceed the season with out cancelling video games, an individual with information of the decision informed USA TODAY Sports. The particular person was granted anonymity as a result of he was not licensed to communicate publicly concerning the scenario.

By internet hosting video games with out followers of their respective arenas, groups are anticipated to lose a big sum of money due to misplaced income from tickets and concessions. Yet, the league additionally offset a few of its monetary losses by declining to postpone or cancel the video games fully. The league would have encountered a logistical nightmare with rescheduling 263 video games amongst 30 groups simply earlier than the common season is scheduled to finish April 15. The NBA playoffs start April 18.

Though tv rankings don’t instantly have an effect on the league and the published stations’ backside line, the NBA would miss a chance to capitalize on fan curiosity for marquee video games. The NBA, like {most professional} sports activities leagues, views televised video games as a advertising and marketing software to entice followers to make future purchases, together with tickets, merchandise and memorabilia.

“Unprecedented. It’s a unique situation,” Nets interim coach Jacque Vaughn stated about the potential of enjoying video games with out followers earlier than Tuesday’s contest in opposition to the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. “Everyone involved is trying to make the best of it and keep things business as usual and listening to the league on any precautions we need to take.”

Another recreation, between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings, was additionally postponed simply earlier than tip-off. Some followers booed because it was introduced.

The league says it can use the hiatus to decide “next steps” for transferring ahead in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.

The information comes the identical day because the NCAA introduced an unprecedented transfer to bar school basketball followers from attending the upcoming males’s and ladies’s Division I tournaments. “This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes,” stated NCAA president Mark Emmert.

Sports leagues are underneath rising strain to ban spectators or cancel video games altogether. Health specialists say a technique coronavirus strikes is from particular person to particular person and significantly when persons are shut collectively for prolonged intervals of time. This “community spreading” has ratcheted up the variety of instances within the U.S.

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