March 20, 2020
On March 11, NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspended the 2019-20 season after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus.
While Christian Wood later tested positive, there were major concerns after Kevin Durant and three of his Brooklyn Nets teammates did as well. With the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Nets last before the 30-day suspension, players were tested and started their 14-day quarantine.
As the number of coronavirus cases continued to rise across the country and the world on Thursday, the NBA has not been exempt. At least four teams reported positive COVID-19 test results for members of their organization, including two players on the Lakers.
The team confirmed positive COVID-19 tests for two unnamed players after the majority of the roster took part in drive-thru testing at the Lakers’ practice facility on Wednesday morning. The team said neither player has developed symptoms, that they are in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James talked to his Instagram followers on Thursday night, tackling imaginary scenarios to the reality of a quarantine period to flatten the curve in this hiatus of the 2019-20 NBA season due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Asked if he’s enjoying what’s now been a week-long break from the action, the Lakers forward quipped:
“No, no I miss playing ball. I miss doing what I do,” said James in his first Instagram Live session. “I miss being in front of the Lakers faithful. I miss being in front of the opposing fans when I’m on the road… we [were] hitting our stride.”
The Lakers’ news came on a day that amounted to the dam breaking as more test results have streamed in: The Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics acknowledged that they had also received positive test results within their organizations. While initial cases struck as a novelty – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first U.S.-based athlete among the major professional leagues to test positive, upending the NBA season – the league now has at least seven organizations with reported positive COVID-19 test results. The Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons have also reported cases in the last week.