The NBA has decided to suspend the 2019-20 season indefinitely due to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for Coronavirus. The decision was made prior to the Jazz and Thunder game tipping off on Wednesday.
It’s unclear how the league will move forward and if scheduled games will be postponed or canceled.
We will continue to keep you posted as more information is made available.
Original Story Follows:
The Los Angeles Lakers will play home games behind closed doors for the foreseeable future, it was reported today. The decision (reported by Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN) by the NBA’s Board of Governors to not allow fans into arenas comes due to the recent COVID-19, or Coronavirus, outbreak that is threating thousands of people globally. It is unknown at this time whether or not this will apply to the Lakers’ game Thursday night in Staples Center against the Houston Rockets. The decision is not official, however, Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to reveal the decision on Thursday.
New story filed to ESPN:
The NBA’s Board of Governors shared a consensus on Wednesday to continue the season playing games without fans in arenas amid the coronavirus crisis, and Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to move in that direction with a decision on Thursday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 11, 2020
The Golden State Warriors were the first team to deny access to fans for their home game against the Brooklyn Nets after an enforcement was passed down by the city of San Francisco. The NCAA followed by announcing that all March Madness games would be closed to most fans, except certain family members.
The NBA has been discussing the possibility of playing games without fans, as well as other possible countermeasures, for some time.
Lakers players and coaches have previously talked about the idea, as well, maintaining that while it is not ideal, they will listen to health and league officials for the proper protocol.
The Lakers will now have to navigate playing games in empty arenas while also finding solutions for refunding already purchased tickets and hopefully compensating part-time staff who will not be working the game.
We will continue monitoring the situation and providing updates and information as they become available.