After reporting on Wednesday that the Knicks were the only NBA team that wanted to maintain the status quo until forced by a government mandate to play games without fans, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski updated that report today.
According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), two other teams expressed reservations about playing games behind closed doors before receiving a formal mandate to do so. Those teams were the Rockets and Pacers. Woj adds (via Twitter) that while the Rockets were resistant to the idea of playing games in the short-term without fans, they were in favor of a three-or-four-week hiatus that would have pushed the schedule into the summer.
That discussion is moot now, in the wake of Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell testing positive for coronavirus and the NBA shutting down its regular season indefinitely. Mitchell confirmed his positive test today in an Instagram post.
“We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them,” he wrote in his statement. “… I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help.”
Here’s more on the coronavirus situation:
- The NBA has a call with its Board of Governors scheduled for 2:30pm central time this afternoon, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The call was initially supposed to happen earlier in the day.
- There’s some concern among NBA players about coronavirus test results being leaked to the media, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link), given the damage it can do to a player and his family and the stigma it creates. As Amick notes, the fact that it’s a public health crisis complicates the situation. When the Jazz and the NBA announced Gobert’s and Mitchell’s positive tests, they didn’t identify them — the two affected stars were revealed by media reports.
- Although they weren’t initially tested for coronavirus at the Chesapeake Energy Arena following Wednesday night’s postponed game against Utah, Thunder players and staffers were advised to self-quarantine for 24 hours and will be tested, writes ESPN’s Royce Young. Since Gobert wasn’t at the arena at all on Wednesday, the risk wasn’t considered high for members of the Thunder, but now that Mitchell has tested positive as well, the Oklahoma State Health Department feels that testing is warranted.