The NBA has suspended its entire season until further notice after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus.
The test result was reported shortly before the Utah Jazz were to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game was immediately canceled and the affected player was not in the arena, according to an NBA statement.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the statement read. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
This came after the NCAA president announced Wednesday that all Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournament games will be played in arenas without fans.
Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James said last week that if he showed up to an arena and there weren’t fans, he wouldn’t be playing. Little did he know he might not have the option. James walked back those comments earlier Wednesday after he learned that was a real possibility in talks with the NBA.
On Monday, the NBA, along with the NHL, MLB and MLS, announced that they would be closing locker rooms and clubhouses to the press in order to limit COVID-19’s exposure.
“Obviously, I would be very disappointed not having the fans, because that is what I play for — I play for my family, I play for my fans,” James said.
He added: “If they feel like it’s best for the safety of the players, the safety of the franchise, the safety of the league to mandate that, then we all listen to it.”