NBA suspends season as players are diagnosed with COVID-19

Sonia Gurrola

Michaella Huck, Opinion Editor

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises nationally, the NBA has seen the same increase. Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers confirmed two players tested positive for the virus.

Both players have continued to remain anonymous, are practicing self-isolation and are under the care of health professionals, according to a statement by the Lakers on March 19.

“The health and well-being of our players, our organization, our fans, and all those potentially impacted by this situation is paramount,” the statement read. “As always, we appreciate the support of our fans, family, and friends, and wish everyone affected by this virus a speedy recovery.”

Eight NBA teams have provided access for their players to take tests voluntarily — including the Lakers.

Testing arose after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the virus. He reported a loss of smell and taste in addition to other coronavirus symptoms. Gobert’s positive test led to the NBA’s decision to suspend the season indefinitely, and other sports leagues almost immediately followed suit.

Gobert infamously made fun of the NBA news media’s policy on social distancing. Following an interview, the player touched all the microphones on the interview table before walking out.

Gobert recently took to Instagram to let his fans know he’s expecting to make a full recovery.

“I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support,” he said. “I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”

Kevin Durant and three other players from the Brooklyn Nets tested positive for COVID-19, which was the last team the Lakers played before the suspension of the season.