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Coronavirus: NBA is done for 30 days; Gobert apologizes for microphone prank

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The NBA’s suspension of play will last at least 30 days at the encouragement of league owners.

As far back as last weekend, one league official not authorized to speak publicly made it clear that any positive test for the coronavirus in the league would shut the NBA down for a month because of how intertwined players, coaches and officials are.

After a series of conference calls on Thursday, the NBA informed its teams of a series of policies to be immediately put into practice, lasting at least through March 16, according to one person not authorized to speak publicly.

Players must remain in the city where there team is based, staying at home as much as possible. Group workouts and practices are outlawed, and team physicians and doctors must stay in contact with their players daily.

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So far, two players, Utah all-stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, have tested positive for COVID-19. Gobert, who jokingly handled the media’s recorders and microphones earlier this week, issued an apology on Instagram.

“I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” Gobert wrote. “The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.

“I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”

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Gobert’s diagnosis , which led the NBA to suspend its season, sparked a wave of cancellations among major American professional and college sports.

Stories examining the impact the spread of the coronavirus has had on the NBA, NHL, MLB, the NCAA tournament and the rest of the sports world.

Most clubs, including the Clippers and Lakers, have told employees and players to stay home for the time being until they receive more answers from the NBA about what happens next.

Staff writers Tania Ganguli and Andrew Greif contributed to this story.


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