Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, and while the league afterward, Gobert's actions before any decisions were made has caused some alarm in the basketball world.
With the NBA recently banning media from accessing locker rooms, players have begun fulfilling their media obligations at the podium. Gobert did so at Monday's Utah Jazz shootaround. Afterward, he proceeded to touch every microphone on the stage, seemingly sending a message about his fearlessness in regards to the disease. It is unknown just how many people came into contact with those microphones after Gobert.
Gobert was ruled out of Wednesday's game earlier with what the Jazz termed as an "illness," which later grew into the reported positive test for coronavirus. The Jazz released a statement Wednesday night explaining the situation without naming Gobert:
After the game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed, players for both teams were quarantined in their locker rooms, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic. Jones revealed that he himself would not be traveling out of Oklahoma City and that he planned to get tested.
The NBA reportedly planned initially to continue playing games with empty arenas, however, Gobert's diagnosis proved the fallibility of that strategy. If even one player was infected, it would force everyone on his team and who he played against into quarantine. Suspending the season was the right call, but in letting the Jazz and Thunder take the floor, it might have come too late. There is no telling how far the disease has spread within the league now.