clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The NBA season has been suspended after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus

New, comments

These are strange times.

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
Goodbye for now, basketball.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Knicks were in the middle of an overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night when the NBA decided to go on indefinite hiatus after it became known that Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The league has officially suspended the season, and it’s completely unclear when there might be a return to normalcy. The NBA was originally considering multiple options, including playing games without any fans in attendance, and the Knicks were reportedly one of the only teams that wanted to continue having full crowds despite the risk.

To be fair, a lot of us were going about business as usual until it came out Wednesday that this is officially a global pandemic, and not only is the NBA suspending its season, but Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for the coronavirus down in Australia.

The positive test for Gobert sealed the deal, and now there won’t be any basketball for the foreseeable future. Will the season eventually pick up where it left off? Could the NBA just end the season where it’s at and begin the playoffs at some point? There are way more questions than answers right now as the coronavirus scarily spreads throughout the U.S.

If Wednesday was indeed the last night of the 2019-20 season, the Knicks would have finished the year with a 136-131 victory, having won two of their last three games. They’re only 9.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Frank Ntillikina is playing great basketball.

But basketball results aren’t the most important issue at the moment. The NBA, like the country, like the world, is facing an unwelcome situation; though Gobert feels fine, he has tested positive for the coronavirus. And he’s been playing basketball against a bunch of other basketballers, including the Knicks on March 4.

The Knicks are one of a handful of teams that are being told they should self-quarantine. Instead of flying to Miami for Friday’s planned game against the Miami Heat, the Knicks holed up in their Atlanta hotel Wednesday night, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

As of Wednesday night, for reasons unknown, the Knicks were not being tested for the virus, according to Steve Popper of Newsday.

This isn’t a medical science journal, but it seems like there should be a heavy focus on making sure everyone can get tested. Basketball players, individuals, rich people, poor people, you name it. NBA basketball is typically an escape from the stresses of everyday life, but for now we’re all going to have to find other things to distract us from the increasingly frightening reality.

Eventually, this should all settle down. Hopefully. And at that point, the Knicks will restart their climb to the top of the NBA. It’s been a slow climb that has actually featured more descent than ascent. But after winning only 17 games a year ago, the Knicks already had 21 victories this season, which wasn’t even over yet.

Stay safe, everyone.

Coronavirus facts/advice from the World Health Organization
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters