The NBA made a stunning announcement on Wednesday night, announcing it would be suspending play during the regular season until further notice after it was revealed that Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
There had previously been discussions about potentially playing regular-season games without fans, but the league acted quickly once one of its players tested positive for the virus.
Now, some of the league’s top stars are sounding off.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had said he wouldn’t play if the games were held without fans — a comment he later backtracked on — and now he is sharing his thoughts on the decision to postpone the season.
“Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020! Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe,” LeBron wrote on Twitter.
Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020! 🤦🏾♂️. Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe🙏🏾
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 12, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NCAA also announced the 2020 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without fans.
In the United States, coronavirus cases have topped 1,000 across 34 states with at least 32 deaths — most of the deaths in the state of Washington.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.