Wednesday’s Oklahoma City Thunder-Utah Jazz game at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City was postponed before tipoff after a player tested positive for the coronavirus, the NBA said in a statement.
The player is the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert.
The Thunder said Oklahoma City’s players left the arena a few hours after the postponement, but the Jazz remained in quarantine three hours after the game was called. The Thunder said their players were not tested for coronavirus, and that they are following the direction of the NBA and health officials.
The Jazz will need to coordinate with Oklahoma and Salt Lake City public health organizations before they can return to Utah.
The NBA said in a statement that the player’s test result was reported shortly before tipoff. The league said the player wasn’t in the arena.
The Jazz said in a statement that the player “tested negative for influenza, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection. The individual’s symptoms diminished over the course of [Wednesday], however, in a precautionary measure, and in consultation and cooperation with NBA medical staff and Oklahoma health officials, the decision was made to test for COVID-19.”
The Jazz said that they “immediately informed the league office” when it was determined the player needed to be tested.
“The individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City,” the Jazz said.
Players the Jazz have faced within the past 10 days are being told to self-quarantine, a source told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. During that time period, Utah has played the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics, the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors.
The starting lineups were announced for Wednesday’s game, and it appeared the event was ready to start. Then, after conversation among the officials, the teams went back to the locker rooms, and the officials left the floor.
Jazz and Thunder officials worked together on Wednesday as they awaited results of Rudy Gobert’s coronavirus test. The Jazz wanted to make sure no Thunder player had physical contact or became exposed to any Utah player before the result of Gobert’s test was known.
The Thunder’s mascot and the team’s hype crew, the Storm Chasers, tried to keep a full house of fans entertained during the delay. The halftime entertainment was moved up to pregame.
The postponement announcement came about 35 minutes after the scheduled tipoff, with the public-address announcer saying the decision was made “due to unforeseen circumstances.”