NBA Player Jokes About Deadly COVID-19 Virus And Then Gets It, NBA Cancels Season

Written by Ann Brown
Coronavirus is no joke. The Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert found this out the hard way. He recently joked about the virus and now he’s the NBA’s patient zero. Rudy Gobert of France reacts during their semifinals match against Argentina for the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Coronavirus is no joke. NBA player Rudy Gobert found this out the hard way. The Utah Jazz center recently made a joke about the virus and now he’s the NBA’s patient zero.

Rudy Gobert-Bourgarel is a French professional basketball player who joined the NBA and tested positive Wednesday night, March 11. The NBA immediately suspended the remainder of the season. There’s nearly a month left in the regular season before the playoffs. Teams who have played the Jazz in the last 10 days have been asked to self-quarantine

Some of the Jazz reporters have said they will be getting tested for COVID-19, Michigan Live reported.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of )Wednesday’s) schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

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There are 259 games, or about 21 percent of the schedule, left to be played.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN that he was shocked by the news that the season was being suspended.

He said his initial reaction was, “This is crazy. This can’t be true.”

He continued: “I mean, it’s not within the realm of possibility. It seemed more like out of a movie than reality.”

Cuban said he trusted NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision.

“I trust Adam (Silver). You know what? It’s really not about basketball or money,” Cuban said. “Literally, if this thing is exploding to the point where all of a sudden players and others have had it, you think about your family. You want to make sure you’re doing this the right way. Now it’s much more personal, and you’ve seen what’s happened in other countries, but just the whole idea that it’s come this close and potentially a couple players have it, just, ‘stunning’ isn’t the right word. Just crazy.”

According to Cuban, teams have been told they can continue to practice, and that players have been informed they should not have visitors from out of town.