It seemed inevitable, and yet, is still seems surreal.
There will be no NBA basketball tomorrow, and for who knows how long after that.
The NBA suspended the season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, a.k.a. coronavirus, prior to the Jazz’s game against the Thunder on Wednesday. There had been much debate as to how the NBA, and other sports leagues, would handle the pandemic, with the possibility of teams playing in empty arenas becoming a likely scenario. Gobert’s positive test necessitated the immediate suspension and the league will use the hiatus to determine the best course of action for the remainder of the season.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
.@royceyoung reports that the Thunder-Jazz game was seconds away from tipping off when the Thunder's head medical staffer sprinted onto the floor to talk to referees in Oklahoma City.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
At that point, players and staff were sent back to their respective locker rooms. pic.twitter.com/WsSOU09kVP
The Magic, returning from a four-game road trip, were set to face the Chicago Bulls on Thursday at Amway Center, where they were scheduled to play eight of their next 10 games. In a statement, the Magic announced that tickets for postponed games will be honored if the game is rescheduled. For all games that are canceled or played in an empty arena, ticket holders have the option of either a refund or credit to future games.
“As we’ve said from the beginning, the health and safety of our fans, employees, players and partners is our top priority and thus we fully support the NBA’s decision to postpone games,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement. “We will continue to stay in contact with the league, and local, state and federal health experts as we closely monitor the public health crisis. During this period of increased focus on public health due to COVID-19, we ask that our fans continue to practice healthy habits as outlined by the CDC.”
Was just on the phone with Rudy. He is doing good man. Lets not panick everyone. Love you all❤️— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) March 12, 2020
The Magic had been playing some of their best basketball of the season, winning three straight with what has been a league-best offense since the All-Star break. No telling when we’ll next see Magic basketball, but it understandably won’t be until the health and safety of all involved can be assured.
Be safe, Magic fam. Wash your hands, take precautions, be prepared. Hopefully, soon enough, coronavirus will be under control and the NBA season will resume.
For more information on the coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.