The Impact of COVID-19 on the NBA

The sports world has been affected by the Coronavirus in ways that fans have never seen before.


Michael Serrao, Social Media Director

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected the day to day life of society in ways that we could have never imagined. The virus started out as something small and has turned into a worldwide pandemic that has virtually shut down society for the time being. It has shut down anything and everything that you can think of except for the ‘essentials.’

Included in this list of anything and everything is the sports world. Every single professional and non-professional sport has been suspended as a result of COVID-19 and it does not seem that they will be continuing their seasons anytime soon. In this article, the focus will be placed on the effects that this pandemic is having on the NBA (National Basketball Association).

When the virus originally started to become a major concern in the country, the NBA considered continuing the season like normal without fans. The NBA wanted to ban fans from entering the arena to watch the games in order to stop the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. This was seen as a radical idea as fans have always been permitted to go watch games and are such an important part of sports as a whole.

This plan was still under consideration until an NBA player started to show symptoms of having COVID-19. The Utah Jazz were set to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, the teams were out on the court and the fans were in the stadium waiting for the game to start. This was until it was confirmed that the Utah Jazz all-star center, Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus. The game was almost immediately canceled and both the Jazz and the Thunder were quarantined in their respective locker rooms until things were sorted out.

Subsequently, right after this game was canceled, the NBA released a statement that they were suspending the season until further notice effective immediately due to the contraction of the Coronavirus by an NBA player. It was later revealed that the NBA commissioner had a plan to immediately suspend the season the moment that there was one case of COVID-19 in the league. Silver did not even notify the teams, he just released the statement, that is how quickly things happened with the decision.

The virus did indeed spread to other players in the league even though the league was suspended. This was just due to the normal rate of the virus spreading from person to person. The rate of the virus spreading in the NBA would have been much higher if play had not been suspended.

As of right now, it is known that Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz have had the virus and since gotten better. Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics and Christian Wood from the Detroit Pistons have since been tested positive for the virus. As well as this, four members of the Brooklyn Nets have tested positive for the virus, but the only player who admitted to having it was Kevin Durant.

The NBA is not the only thing being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is important to take note of and analyze the specific parts of an important event like this. This pandemic will be a history lesson one day so any and all information that we can write about and share will have value one day.