NBA SUSPENSION AFTER RUDY GOBERT, UTAH JAZZ, TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

By Isadora Marshall, G11

When I began researching and coming up with ideas for this article a week ago (when we still had school!), I wasn’t aware of the extent to which COVID-19 was going to affect so many things! It’s a pandemic now and is affecting practically everyone, unfortunately. 

For those sports lovers out there, especially basketball, you may be upset by the cancellation of not only MRISA’s but also the international and national tournaments and events which fans have been looking forward to for ages. The cancellation of the NBA, for example, was a big shock for not only the fans but the players and coaches, too. 

When the Utah Jazz was about to play against the Thunder in Oklahoma, Rudy Gobert, a French professional basketball player from Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19. The game had already been delayed for 30 minutes; fans and players were beginning to speculate. Shortly after receiving this bad news, the game was called off and later, it was announced that the NBA would be cancelled this year. This is not the first time the NBA has been shortened– in the 2011 lockout for example the tournament was limited to 66 games.

This bad news has been quite the tragedy for not only the NBA as a whole, but the basketball scene especially. Since the beginning of the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak, the NBA had already been receiving increasing pressure to cancel the tournament due the worldwide pandemic however, they extended it for as long as they could. Not only has this been an emotional strain for players, fans, coaches and managers but it has also been an economic downfall, similar to many other stock markets and businesses with this ongoing virus. The NBA has already lost millions because of the ongoing arguments with the Chinese government and additionally no ticket sales affects the salaries which are based on revenue streams and jersey sales. Additionally, the playoffs are supposed to be starting next month (on the 18th of April) which is when television ratings typically go up and the league receives more attention. 

As many of you may know, the basketball scene has already received enough tragedy with the loss of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles on January 26 where him and his daughter, Gianna, were amongst nine killed. In January, David Stern, the former commissioner of the NBA, one of its most influential figures, also died, due to a brain hemorrhage. There has also been a lot of controversy in the league after an executive from the Houston Rockets tweeted a message supportive of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests meanwhile the Lakers and Nets were staging exhibitions in China. 

Since COVID-19 is now a pandemic, almost everyone around the world has had something they’ve been looking forward to cancelled. In hard times like these, it’s important to focus on the positive things and look forward to the future. Supporting each other and staying home to protect the more vulnerable is what we should all be focusing on for now in order to diminish the spread of the disease but also in hopes of eliminating the pandemic as a whole. Stay safe, stay happy and most importantly, stay healthy! We’re all in this together! (Get it? High school musical? Troy Bolton? Basketball..? Ha!) 

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