NBA suspends season over coronavirus fears

Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert (27), who has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, dunks the...
Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert (27), who has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, dunks the ball during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Photo: Reuters/Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The National Basketball Association (NBA) said on Wednesday it was suspending the season until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.

The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of a game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The league said the affected player, reportedly centre Rudy Gobert, was not in the arena.

"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice," the league said.

"The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the situation was "crazy".

"This can't be true," he told ESPN as his team played the Denver Nuggets.

"This is not in the realm of possibilities. This seems more like out of a movie than reality."

The pandemic rocked the North American sports calendar on Wednesday, leading to the cancellation of the figure skating world championships and the announcement that college basketball's annual 'March Madness' tournament would take place without fans in attendance. 

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