The impact of the coronavirus crisis on the sporting world has escalated, with America’s NBA suspending its season.
This morning an NBA game between Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was cancelled at the last minute — with fans already in their seats — after a Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19.
NBA tweet: NBA to suspend season following tonight’s games
The NBA did not name the player but American media identified him as Jazz centre Rudy Gobert.
The league, which generated revenue of $US8.8 billion ($13.62 billion) last year, announced it was closing down “until further notice” following the conclusion of the night’s schedule of games.
“The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the league stated.
Leading NBA figures responded in shock to the announcement.
“This is crazy, this can’t be true,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN during his side’s match against the Denver Nuggets.
“This is not within the realms of possibility. It seems like more out of a movie than reality,” Cuban said.
“You know what, it’s really not about basketball or money, I mean literally if this thing is just exploding to the point where all of a sudden players and others have had it, you think about your family.
“Just the whole idea that it’s come this close, and that potentially a couple of players have it.
“Stunning isn’t the right word. It’s crazy.”
More to come.