NBA rocked as four players test positive

The NBA has been rocked by the news four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for coronavirus.

The league was last week suspended following Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert's positive test for the virus - and the latest development is leading to speculation the entire 2019-20 season will have to be abandon as America continues to take increasingly significant action to fight the spread of the pandemic.

The NBA's original plan was to shut down for 30 days, though new guidance issued Monday by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that all gatherings of 50 people or more be postponed or cancelled for eight weeks - which almost certainly means no major sports in North America will resume until mid-May at the earliest.

 

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The news of the four Brooklyn players testing positive for the virus was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday morning (AEDT).

"Four Nets have tested positive for the coronavirus, team says," Wojnarowski posted on Twitter.

"Organisation says it's notifying anyone who has had known contact with the players, including recent opponents. All Nets players and travelling party have been told to remain isolated."

 

The team released a statement just minutes later confirming the development.

"Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus." the team said in a statement.

"Of the four, one player is exhibiting symptoms while three are asymptomatic.

"All four players are presently isolated and are under the care of team physicians."

The team has not identified the four players.

The Nets announced the team is trying to get into contact with anybody known to have come into contact with the players recently, including opponents from games played earlier this month.

The tests come after Jazz star Donovan Mitchell spoke out publicly following his own positive test last week.

The star guard said he showed no symptoms of being sick before testing positive for the coronavirus, and he continues to have no signs of illness since going into isolation.

Mitchell, speaking to ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview broadcast Tuesday, also revealed that it "took awhile for me to kind of cool off" at Gobert, his All-Star teammate who was the first NBA player to have a positive test for the virus revealed.

Gobert has said in recent days that he did not take the threat of the illness seriously.

"I'm glad he's doing OK. I'm glad I'm doing well," said Mitchell, who did not say if he has spoken to Gobert in recent days.

He has seen video updates Gobert has posted to social media updating fans about his own condition.

Mitchell said he continues to feel fine, and that the worst physical issue he's had during this process was going through the test for COVID-19 itself. He said getting swabbed was so uncomfortable that it left him in tears.

"I'm asymptomatic," Mitchell said.

"I don't have any symptoms. I could walk down the street (and) if it wasn't public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn't know it. I think that's the scariest part about this virus. You may seem fine, be fine. And you never know who you may be talking to, who they're going home to."

Gobert's positive test was disclosed Wednesday and Mitchell's on Thursday. Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons learned on Saturday he has tested positive for COVID-19 as well.

Wood played against the Jazz last week.

Gobert - thinking at the time he was making a joke - touched a few Jazz reporters' digital recording devices at a media availability March 9, two days before his positive test became public and forced the NBA to suspend the season.

It cannot, however, be concluded he is responsible for Mitchell or Wood contracting the virus.

- with AP



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