Coronavirus: Infected Jazz star Rudy Gobert provides health update, wishes he took 'this thing more seriously'

The NBA season is in the midst of a 30-day minimum hiatus due to the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The league's decision was made Wednesday after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the deadly virus. On Sunday, Gobert gave an update on his health in a video posted to the NBA's Twitter account.

"I'm going to start by saying thank you to all the people who have been supportive and all the positive energy, it really means a lot," Gobert said. "As for myself I've been feeling better every single day, thanks to the healthcare people of Utah, Oklahoma City and all the people around me. 

As you already know, I just want to remind you to keep washing your hands, try to avoid touching your face and try to avoid making unnecessary contact with people. It's all about protecting yourself and people around you. I wish I would've taken this thing more seriously and I hope everyone else will do so because we can do it together. Take care, and stay safe."

After it became known a Jazz player -- soon identified as Gobert -- tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah was abruptly canceled as a result of the All-Star center's test result. This led to the league making the decision to suspend the season immediately. Gobert issued an initial apology on Thursday to his Instagram, saying he was sorry for being so "careless."

I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment.

The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.

I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.  

In addition to Gobert testing positive for coronavirus, Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell also confirmed on Thursday that he also tested positive for the virus. Gobert was reportedly "careless" in the locker room and touched teammates and their belongings, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Mitchell was the only member of the Jazz other than Gobert to test positive for the coronavirus Wednesday night, per Charania. However, Detroit Pistons big man Christian Wood, who defended Gobert a week ago in a game against the Jazz, has also tested positive, according to Charania. 

"We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials, and the NBA to monitor their health and determine the best path moving forward," the Jazz said in an issued statement.

Players from the Thunder were reportedly not tested for coronavirus and allowed to leave the building, but the Jazz were quarantined inside of the Chesapeake Energy Arena while testing was undertaken.

The league has told teams that have played Utah in the last 10 days should self-quarantine. Utah's opponents since March 2 include the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.

On Sunday, it was learned the Pistons' Christian Wood reportedly became the third NBA player -- and first non-Jazz player -- to test positive for coronavirus. He was guarding Gobert in their March 7 matchup.

It's worth noting that prior to the game, the Jazz announced that Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay were ruled out of the game due to illness. Gobert was not at the arena, but rather the team hotel in Oklahoma City for the game, according to Young.

Reporters covering both teams were also affected. Both Jones and Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune indicated that they were not allowed to leave, and required to be tested for the virus.   

Earlier in the week, Gobert was spotted touching the microphones and audio recorders on the podium during his media session.

Just prior to tip-off on Wednesday, a Thunder medical staffer "sprinted" onto the floor to meet with officials, according to Young. After a brief consultation, coaches Quin Snyder and Billy Donovan were brought over and both teams then made their way back to their locker rooms. 

As the teams walked off the court, the referees then got on the headset with the league, and after a brief discussion, they too left. That then led to an eerie delay that included the Thunder mascot shooting halfcourt shots, children performing dance routines and Frankie J giving a mini-concert that was initially scheduled for halftime. 

After about 30 minutes, the Thunder PA announcer told fans that the game was off "due to unforeseen circumstances" and that fans "are all safe." 

The Jazz-Thunder game was the first of two games cancelled on Wednesday. The Pelicans-Kings matchup, the last of the night before the league halted its play due to coronavirus concerns.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories