HEALTH

Patient Zero: Gobert’s health scare shuts down NBA for now

Mar 12, 2020, 5:44 AM | Updated: 8:59 am
Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) guards against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the firs...
Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) guards against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 9, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

It started as a joke: Before leaving a post-practice interview session Rudy Gobert touched all the tape recorders that were placed before him on a table, devices that reporters who cover the Utah Jazz were using during an availability with him on Monday before a game with the Detroit Pistons.

It isn’t so funny now.

Gobert is now the NBA’s Patient Zero for coronavirus after becoming the first player in the league to test positive, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The 7-foot-1 Frenchman is at the center of why the league has been shut down for the foreseeable future:

— Utah’s game against Oklahoma City Wednesday night was canceled and the Pistons are among five teams that have played the Jazz — and Gobert — since the start of March, the others being Boston, Toronto, New York and Cleveland.

— Gobert shared the court with 50 opposing players in those games, plus 15 referees.

— One of the refs was Courtney Kirkland, who was to work th e New Orleans-Sacramento game on Wednesday that got canceled because he had been on the court with Gobert two nights earlier, and who knows how many ballboys, stat-crew employees, security guards, attendants and others did as well.

— Then there’s Gobert’s own teammates and the Jazz coaches and staff. And everyone he’s been on a plane with in recent days. Or shared a hotel elevator with. Or dined with. Or shook hands with. And so on, and so on.

“I’m sure I probably had contact with him,” Detroit’s Langston Galloway said.

He added, “Staying focused on that moment of interaction with a lot of different people and knowing that at the end of the day you might have touched the ball, you might have interacted with a fan and just being (cautious) with that going forward.”

The shutdown could cost teams well into the hundreds of millions of dollars depending on how long the shutdown lasts. Those teams that have faced Gobert in recent days will likely face some testing. And some of those Jazz reporters said they were getting tested for COVID-19, just in case.

“It’s unprecedented,” Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “I think it’s the prudent thing to do. And what went on in Utah, I don’t know all the information but that just shows you how fragile everything is right now.”

This is the reality of the coronavirus, which was labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday weeks after beginning its havoc-wreaking global run that has sickened well over 100,000 and killed more than 4,000.

Charlotte coach James Borrego said these are scary times in the NBA, and no one argued.

“They’re all concerned and rightfully so,” Casey said. “Everybody in our league should be concerned. I think everybody in our country right now, more than just basketball, is concerned. We all have to take care of ourselves and look out for our fellow man.”

That’s what Orlando’s Evan Fournier did Wednesday night.

Fournier, a French national teammate of Gobert’s, reached out to him after news of the diagnosis and leaguewide shutdown broke.

“Was just on the phone with Rudy,” Fournier wrote. “He is doing good man. Lets not (panic) everyone. Love you all.”

___

More AP NBA: https://twitter.com/AP_Sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Today’s Top Stories

Health

costco samples senior hours...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

The mysterious companies behind Costco’s Kirkland Signature and Trader Joe’s O’s

As prices surge, store brands -- also known as private labels, white labels or generic brands -- have become an even more attractive option for inflation-fatigued shoppers who are looking to switch from pricier name brands. Store brands can be anywhere from 10% to 50% cheaper.
1 day ago
Utah COVID update...
Michael Lee, CTVNews.ca writer

Long-term COVID symptoms persist in 1 in 8 adult patients, study says

The study, published in peer-review journal The Lancet, looked at groups of adults diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those who were uninfected, and examined whether they developed new or worsening disease symptoms
1 day ago
Utah lake bloom algal...
Simone Seikaly

Utah Lake algal bloom still at harmful levels says DEQ

Utah Lake visitors are asked not to drink the water near an algal bloom, to avoid swimming and water skiing, and to thoroughly clean fish that are caught.
2 days ago
Utah Clean Air Partnership urges Utahns to take steps toward cleaner air....
Martha Harris

“Live to Breathe” campaign encourages steps for clean air

Utah Clean Air Partnership's "Live to Breathe" campaign encourages Utahns to take meaningful steps toward cleaner air.
2 days ago
monkeypox vaccine...
ZEKE MILLER, MIKE STOBBE and MICHAEL BALSAMO Associated Press

US to declare health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

The announcement will free up federal money and other resources to fight the virus, which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body.
3 days ago
Researchers at Yale University say they have been able to restore blood circulation and other cellu...
Katie Hunt, CNN

Research in pigs shakes up what we know about dying

With more research, the cutting-edge technique could someday potentially help preserve human organs for longer, allowing more people to receive transplants.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Patient Zero: Gobert’s health scare shuts down NBA for now