12 Mar 2020

Covid-19: NBA suspends season, Adams in quarantine

3:47 pm on 12 March 2020

New Zealander Steven Adams is among the players quarantined as the NBA season in the United States has been suspended due to coronavirus.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 23: Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during a opening night game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 23, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photo: AFP

A test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of a game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The league said the affected player, reportedly centre Rudy Gobert, was not in the arena at the time.

"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice," the league said.

"The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 04, 2019 Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert signs autographs after warm ups, before a NBA game against Los Angeles Lakers in Salt Lake City, Utah. -

Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz has been identified by some US media as the NBA player who has Covid-19. Photo: AFP

Media are reporting the Jazz and Thunder players have been quarantined in the OKC arena.

Initially the NBA gave no reason for the postponement of the Jazz and Thunder game but ESPN tweeted that the National Basketball Association season had been suspended.

US media say boos broke out from the crowd as the announcement was made that the game had been suspended.

At the time of the announcement, the Dallas Mavericks' home game against the Denver Nuggets was midway through the third quarter.

ESPN cameras caught Mavericks owner Mark Cuban finding out the news as he looked at a phone while sitting courtside, then walking to the Dallas bench before another man -- presumably on the team's staff -- took the phone and talked to on-court officials.

"This is crazy. This can't be true. This isn't within the realm of possibility," Cuban told ESPN. "I'm not an expert. I'm not going to try to be an expert. Our plan here was to defer to the NBA.

"I trust Adam (Silver, the NBA commissioner). It's really not about basketball or money. If this is just exploding to the point that players and others have it ... you think about your family. Stunning isn't the right word. It's not about the team. It's about the country and life in general."

Two other games - the New York Knicks at the Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Hornets at the Miami Heat - were late in the fourth quarter at the time of the suspension.

All three games were allowed to finish before the suspension went into effect.

RNZ / Reuters