Jackie MacMullan: Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus 'worst-case scenario for NBA'

Justin Leger
NBC Sports Boston

The NBA made the decision Wednesday to suspend its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

The news of Gobert's positive test led to Wednesday night's Jazz-Thunder game in Oklahoma City being postponed minutes before tip-off. The NBA's announcement came shortly thereafter.

ESPN's Jackie MacMullan joined NBC Sports Boston's "Boston Sports Tonight" to discuss the NBA's reaction to the pandemic, and how this is exactly the kind of situation the league hoped to avoid.

This is the worst-case scenario for the NBA. What we had heard all along from the very beginning was that their biggest concerns was one of the players testing positive. And if that happened, we had all been told, that it was gonna have to be shut down, and you can understand why. And so, for this to happen minutes before a game in Oklahoma City -- pretty shocking that it came down to the final minutes like that.

And as we speak, those players are being quarantined. Both Oklahoma City and Utah Jazz players and coaches are being quarantined at this moment. So the question is, where did Rudy Gobert get it? How long has he been affected? There were however many thousand people at TD Garden last Friday. The Utah Jazz played in that building.

It has far-reaching tentacles. And this is the one thing the NBA was hoping to avoid. They knew once one of their players got it -- and I kept saying to them once they banned the media, 'What about the officials? What about the officials who fly commercially, who interact with people in airports and in these arenas and touch the ball, and then hand it to the players? What about them?' So it almost seems that this was inevitable to me in some ways.

As a result of Gobert testing positive for coronavirus, all teams that have played against the Jazz within the last 10 days have reportedly been advised to self-quarantine. That, of course, includes the Boston Celtics.

Also appearing on "Boston Sports Tonight," Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated stated there "isn't a lot of optimism the NBA season will resume." It's much too early to assume the season will be canceled, but this certainly emphasizes the concern the NBA has expressed about the coronavirus outbreak.

The NCAA announced Wednesday it will play its championship events -- including both men's and women's Division I tournaments -- as scheduled without fans in attendance. Now that NBA has suspended its season, it may be in NCAA's best interest to follow suit.

Jackie MacMullan: Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus 'worst-case scenario for NBA' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

What to Read Next