NBA star Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus 48 hours after mocking panic

The Nationall Basketball Association [NBA] have suspended the league season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.

The 27-year-old had been feeling unwell in the last two days and had been rated doubtful for the Jazz’s match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The NBA, like other sporting associations, had been looking to take measures to minimise the spread of the virus but they decided to suspend the season indefinitely on Wednesday night after Gobert’s results came back positive shortly before tip-off. The player was not at the arena at the time.

The result comes less than 48 hours after the 27-year-old appeared to make light of the mass panic in society by touching all of the microphones at a press conference on Monday.

Players from both sides were ready to start the game before the NBA announced their suspension and ESPN report that the squads were left in quarantine at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma. Players that have played the Jazz in the last fortnight have been urged to self-isolate.

Gobert was already likely to miss the game due to his symptoms but the Jazz updated their Twitter account on Wednesday to confirm that his condition had worsened and that he was now ‘questionable’.

An NBA spokesman released the following statement after the suspension: ‘The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the league said.’

The NBA’s decision is bound to pile further pressure on sporting associations across the globe, with the Premier League and Champions League now under serious threat.

The United States of America has lagged behind other major economies in its response to the outbreak but President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that European citizens would be banned from crossing the Atlantic, though the United Kingdom was peculiarly exempt.

Hollywood star Tom Hanks has become the most high-profile figure to reveal he has contracted the virus, confirming in a brief statement that he and his wife Rita Wilson had been diagnosed as positive.

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