It didn’t take long for the number of Utah Jazz players who have tested positive for coronavirus to go from one to two. It’s likely not going to stop there either. On Thursday morning, it was announced that Donovan Mitchell is the second member of the Jazz to test positive. Mitchell is teammates with Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to come down with the virus. It was Gobert’s positive test that led the NBA to suspend the season just as the Jazz were set to take on Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on Twitter saying the league sources told ESPN earlier this morning.
“Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following this story since last night that Gobert wasn’t being careful with his teammates. The Washington Post reported that Gobert has been mocking the coverage of coronavirus since the outbreak began to cause concern and cancellations around the country. During one press conference, Gobert apparently thought it would be funny to touch all the microphones and recording devices placed in front of him by reporters.
— Dave Fox (@Davefox2) March 12, 2020
The postponement of the NBA season because of one Utah Jazz player coming down with coronavirus was immediately met with people who thought the league was overreacting much the same way other entities were accused of doing. Now that Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive, the league is being praised by some experts as likely staving off an even bigger spread.
Wednesday night’s postponement followed a day when various sporting events were either changing plans, or talking about changing plans. The Ivy League announced it had canceled all spring sports and was looking for an extra year of eligibility for its players.
The NCAA announced it would still hold the March Madness tournament, but isn’t going to allow fans to attend. Several college conferences are copying that behavior for their own postseason tournaments.
For a while, and almost simultaneously while the NBA was postponing its season because of the Utah Jazz team being exposed to the virus, Nebraska basketball fans thought their own head coach, Fred Hoiberg, might have the disease as well. Hoiberg had to leave the Huskers game early and was rushed to the hospital. It was later determined he had influenza. The question now is, with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert testing positive, how many more Utah Jazz will become infected and how much has it spread throughout the NBA?