The Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder were set to tip off in OKC Wednesday night. The backdrop here being the coronavirus pandemic and the league’s imminent decision to ban fans from games.
As the game was about to get going, something extremely odd happened. Officials spoke with the head coaches of both teams before ordering players off the court.
Players exited in quick fashion as fans inside Chesapeake Energy Arena booed. Officials were ordered to wait from confirmation from the league office to start the game.
Reports trickled in later that Jazz star Rudy Gobert is dealing with an illness, leading to a delay in the start of the game.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier on Wednesday categorized coronavirus as a pandemic for the first time. It’s in this that several adjustments were made around the sports world, including the NCAA deciding that the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without fans.
It’s rather obvious that’s what is happening around the world is much larger than sports. We saw that first-hand in Oklahoma City Wednesday evening.
We will obviously have more updates on the situation in Oklahoma City as they become available.
Update: The game has officially been postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances.” The Oklahoma Police Department has also decided to close the arena.