NBA suspends season amid COVID-19 pandemic

Basketball. © Can Stock Photo / zimmytws

The National Basketball Association is suspending all gameplay after a player recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The NBA announced late Wednesday evening that, following preliminary tests, a player on the Utah Jazz is confirmed to have contracted the virus that has killed approximately 4,291 people worldwide.

“The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, tonight’s game was cancelled,” the NBA said in a statement. “The affected player was not in the arena.”

Following the conclusion of Wednesday night’s NBA games, the season is now suspended until further notice. The decision comes the same day COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and less than an hour after U.S. President Donald Trump implemented a 30-day ban on travel from Europe to the United State, with the exception of the UK.  Hollywood actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were also diagnosed with the virus earlier on Wednesday.

“The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the basketball association said.

Shortly after basketball fans received the bad news, the National Hockey League announced that it would be making an announcement pertaining to COVID-19 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,” the organization said in a statement. “The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow.”