The NBA became the first major sports league to suspend operations following Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s positive test for COVID-19. Since that moment, six other NBA players have had confirmed cases of the coronavirus. They aren’t the only players, either.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced on Friday that there is no timeline for the league to return. He also opened up about the severity of the scare around the league, disclosing that even more players tested positive for COVID-19 than the public knew.
Just a day after Gobert tested positive, Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell was confirmed to have the coronavirus. Days later, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood was diagnosed with the virus.
Less than a week following the NBA’s indefinite suspension, four Brooklyn Nets’ players tested positive for COVID-19. Two days later, the Los Angeles Lakers announced two of their players were confirmed to have the coronavirus. Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart also revealed he tested positive for COVID-19.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, the NBA informed teams early in March that they didn’t need to reveal COVID-19 test results to the public. As a result, teams opted to either not reveal the names of players who tested positive or not reveal any results.
As of now, every known player that had COVID-19 has fully recovered. It’s wonderful news at a time when many across the globe haven’t been as fortunate. Among those lost, the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns.
The NBA is currently looking into rapid COVID-19 testing kits, which could potentially diagnose people within minutes. However, the league is still likely months away from a potential return to the NBA season and the arenas will be filled with empty seats for even longer.