Picture Screenshot @RudyGobert Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/B8qMX-ilOYx/?igshid=13smarf4ci1be
On Wednesday March 11, seconds before tip-off for the Oklahoma City vs. Utah
Jazz game, Jazz Center, Rudy Gobert, was the first NBA player to test positive for
COVID-19, more commonly referred to as coronavirus. Directly following the first NBA
diagnosis of COVID-19, NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, suspended the season
indefinitely and the Utah Jazz team and staff alongside the Cleveland Cavaliers, New
York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors were all asked to
self-quarantine and test for the virus. Since then, two additional NBA players have
tested positive for COVID-19 including Rudy Gobert’s teammate, Jazz shooting guard,
Donovan Mitchell, and emerging Pistons’ star, Christian Wood — all of which have
reported feeling stable and in good health.
The biggest concern for many Utah Jazz fans right now is that if the season is to
resume, what impact, if any, will these positive tests have on the Jazz team chemistry.
There have been reports that many Jazz players are frustrated with Gobert’s public and
private actions in the days before his positive test — including his now infamous
pre-game interview where he jokingly touched all of the microphones in attempt to make
a joke about coronavirus.
Video shows Rudy Gobert, an NBA player who reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, touching microphones with his hands after speaking with reporters on Monday https://t.co/ekxauQo8KV pic.twitter.com/pd7Q9vJkCz
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 12, 2020
Many fans are concerned specifically about the future of
Gobert and Mitchell’s chemistry after Mitchell’s recent Instagram caption that
emphasized that people have a “responsibility both for their own health and for the well
being of those around them” which many assume was targeted at his teammate. Gobert
and Mitchell are the Jazz star players and their chemistry is the backbone of the entire
Jazz team and fanbase. If Mitchell holds any animosity towards Gobert, that would have
a large impact on their chemistry on and off the court. However, while Gobert was the
first Jazz player to test positive for Coronavirus, it is not indicative of him being the first
player to contract the virus.
Since his diagnosis, Gobert has apologized for his carelessness stating through
an Instagram post that “At the time, [he] had no idea [he] was infected” and has pledged
$200,000 towards paying part-time workers at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where the
Utah Jazz play, and $100,000 each to Utah, Oklahoma, and France for social services
to help combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am humbled by the tireless efforts and care of people around the globe for those affected by COVID-19, especially my own communities of Utah and France, in addition to my appreciation for the state of
Oklahoma and my care there, and of course, my Utah Jazz family,” Gobert said through
a Utah Jazz official statement.
View this post on Instagram
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.
It is unclear when, and if the NBA season will resume, but if it does, the Jazz will
still be scheduled to play an away game in Oklahoma City against the Thunder and
have a chance at playoff run, currently being ranked 4th in the Western conference.