NBA's Rudy Gobert joked about coronavirus by touching reporters' mics, tests positive days later
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the NBA season to a screeching halt. In light of Gobert's positive test, the league announced it would be suspending action indefinitely effective from Thursday, ESPN reported.
But Gobert had been making light of the situation just days before he tested positive for the deadly virus.
According to USA Today, Gobert was mocking new rules put in place by the NBA to maintain at least a 6 to 8 feet distance between players and reporters during media events. The league called it a "social distancing" strategy meant to mitigate the risk of spreading the infection.
Gobert is seen in footage waving his hands over the devices on the table before touching them all and finally walking away.
So...here is Rudy touching all the mics following Mondays shoot around that has some people concerned... #TakeNote #utahjazz #CoronaVirus pic.twitter.com/dr4auECTr4— Dave Fox (@Davefox2) March 12, 2020
Utah Jazz was slated to play against Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night. However, the game was deferred shortly before tip-off and purportedly after Gobert's positive diagnosis emerged. Things moved rather quickly from then onwards. Players were made to leave the court, while fans were requested to leave the arena saying the game had been called off -- thereby putting the NBA season in limbo after being suspended indefinitely.
A league source told Insider before the news broke that if an NBA player contracted the virus, the entire team would be quarantined for two weeks. The isolation could then have a domino effect and extend to opponents that team had faced, and so forth.
That said, the NBA is barely the first league to take drastic steps to contain the spread of the Covid-19. NCAA president Mark Emmert announced on Wednesday that both the men's and women's college basketball championship tournaments would be held with only the players' family members in attendance and without their fans.
Having said that, more desperate measures could be put in place if an NCAA player tested positive for the coronavirus.