The NBA announced last week that it would be suspending its 2019-20 season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19. NBA commissioner Adam Silver later added that the suspension will be for “at least 30 days” and that the league has every intention of resuming the season “if and when it is safe for all those concerned.”
We have seen the NBA shorten its season before but it was because of a labor lockout and the cancellation of games happened before the start of the season. Last week, we saw unprecedented events that led to the suspension of an NBA season with only less than 20 games left for each team to play in the regular season.
Last Wednesday, before the tipoff of the game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, it was learned that one player from the Utah Jazz had tested positive for the coronavirus which has put the entire world at a standstill. That player was later identified as 2019 NBA Defensive Player Rudy Gobert, who days earlier, jokingly touched all microphones during a press conference, in obvious reference to the deadly virus that has left the world scrambling.
Gobert had been declared as questionable for the game with an undisclosed illness. It was later learned that Gobert had been feeling ill since early in the week and the Jazz tested him for influenza, strep throat, and upper respiratory infection on Wednesday morning. Gobert was feeling better last Wednesday and was ready to play but the NBA insisted that he be tested for the COVID-19 just to be sure. He wasn’t in the warmups but traveled with the team and was at the team hotel when the test results were released shortly before tip-off.
Three NBA Players Have Tested Positive
The game between the Thunder and Jazz was about to start with the introductions already underway when it was suddenly announced that the game would not push thru. Everybody, including the players, was dumbfounded but it was only a matter of minutes when they finally knew what was going on. The Jazz ended up getting quarantined in the arena until after midnight and everyone on the team was tested for the coronavirus. Unluckily, it was revealed later that Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the deadly virus.
Because the Jazz had played several teams before the Thunder, and that the teams they played had played other teams during that period, the NBA decided to suspend its season for safety measures. Because of the virus’ incubation period, Gobert may have already infected several more players because of the NBA’s heavy schedule and because of the nature of the sport. A third player, Detroit’s Christian Wood was also announced to have contracted the coronavirus. Wood scored 30 points as his Pistons played the Jazz last Saturday.
Mitchell and Gobert have since issued their statements and both appear to be in high spirits and well-attended. Wood’s case has just been announced but he will likely be in good hands as well. The coronavirus isn’t a fatal disease with only a 3% fatality rate and with mostly the elderly and those with chronic illnesses as vulnerable to getting terminally ill. The three NBA players are still very young and as players, have the best doctors to keep them in 100% shape so there may be no need to worry about them getting well. The worry is that the virus has spread so fast and alarmingly all over the world.
No Game to Bet On
With the NBA’s suspension of play, there have been no games to bet on since Thursday as the NBA only concluded its ongoing Wednesday games before calling a pause to its season. However serious this matter is, not just to the league but to the entire world, the betting doesn’t stop with the coronavirus. With no games to bet on, the betting gods have come up with a special bet on the NBA to keep its betting fans active during these trying times. The special bet asks when the NBA will resume action, if ever.
Odds from BetOnline as of 03/15/20
As far as the official statement of the NBA is concerned, there is no definite timetable for the return of action. Commissioner Silver said that the only reason for the league’s declaration of a minimum 30-days suspension was to give “give direction to players and fans that this is going to be roughly for a month”. Silver also added that the resumption would happen “if and when it becomes safe to all concerned” and that is the big issue in this bet.
Countries all over the world are at a loss on how to stop the spread of this virus while the brightest minds in the field of medicine find a cure. As of March 15, 2020, CNN reports that there are over 142,000 people globally who are infected with the virus. Although we’ve read reports that the Chinese may be beating the coronavirus, we’ve also seen the numbers increase in countries like Italy, Iran, France, and Germany. We’ve seen actors like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson plus the wife of the Canadian PM get infected with the virus and right now, there seems to be no end to this global terror.
When It Comes to the NBA
I think that we will see the league return after 30 days. Since Gobert’s positive test, only Mitchell and Wood have so far contracted the virus. I mean if only one of Gobert’s teammates contacted the disease, that’s a “good” ( if you call it that way) sign already. The other players who had contact with Gobert or the Jazz are on quarantine and after a couple of weeks, if nothing comes up then, they will probably be issued a clean bill of health. I think this suspension of play lasts one month max. However, the bigger question is if whether the NBA will play with an audience again this season.
The NBA can quarantine its players and has the financial muscle to test everybody if needed. It’s such a billion-dollar business that cannot afford to get canceled. There’s just too much money on the line here. I’m not saying this is about money but I’m saying that the NBA can quarantine all its players and team members and can get everyone a clean bill of health after a month. I’m not a doctor but based on the quarantines happening all over the world, one month is my bet. This may not be a good period for gambling but yeah, if you ask me, I think the NBA will most definitely be back on or before June 1 with a shortened season. But probably, they will play in closed doors.
Prediction: Yes -150