Only an hour after President Trump addressed the nation and announced a travel ban on European countries that excludes the United Kingdom, the NBA canceled the remainder of its season. The move comes after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for Wuhan coronavirus.
The season will be canceled “until further notice” according to the NBA. The move has absolutely nothing to do with the President’s travel ban. Earlier in the day a majority of NBA team owners expressed willingness to play their games without fans in attendance.
League officials say “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.” News of Rudy Gobert testing positive came before the Utah Jazz were to play the Oklahoma City Thunder. Players had already taken the court for warmups but were subsequently told to return to the locker room where they were informed about the situation. Fans were then notified the the game was canceled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
The suspension of the NBA season comes on the same day the NCAA announced that only family members of players participating in the men’s and women’s Division 1 tournament, would be able to attend the games. The decision came as no surprise. On Wednesday morning the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease told a congressional committee that he would recommend the NBA play games without fans in the stadium.