Coronavirus and infected player force NBA to suspend season

As the nation appears to be taking extra precautions with the spread of the coronavirus, the NBA took the extra step Wednesday night by announcing it is suspending the season until further notice.

The NBA made the decision to put its season on hold shortly after a Utah Jazz player, reportedly Rudy Gobert, preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported prior to the tipoff of Wednesday night’s Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

It’s uncertain at this point if the season will resume at some point or remain permanently suspended.

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

Initially, the NBA had planned to play the Wednesday night games and then suspend play going forward. But abruptly decided to call the Wednesday night games, as well.

Earlier Wednesday, it was assumed the NBA would follow the lead of the NCAA, which announced earlier in the day that March Madness would proceed, but without fans in attendance. The Golden State Warriors-New Jersey Nets game on Thursday was to be played in an arena without fans, but that plan was scrapped and the game has been postponed.

On Monday, the NBA, MLB, LMS and NHL all announced that all locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of team and team facilities until further notice. Media access before and after games will be held in designated locations outside of the locker rooms and clubhouses.

Follow Terrance Harris on Twitter @terranceharris.