Coronavirus infiltrates Brooklyn Nets, NBA
by Bryan Fonseca
Mar 26, 2020 | 2052 views | 0 0 comments | 186 186 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread throughout various parts of America, New York State, which became the first to reach five figures in COVID-19 cases as of this weekend, has become the epicenter for the new global pandemic in the United States.

Among those in New York to receive positive tests for the disease were four Brooklyn Nets, which the team announced on Tuesday.

The disease continues to send ripple effects throughout the NBA as more players have tested positive for the virus than in any other major American sports league, despite having by far the fewest number of team-sport athletes.

“All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health, and maintain constant communication with team medical staff,” a Nets spokesperson said Tuesday.

“The health of our players and staff is of the highest priority to the organization and the team is doing everything within its power to ensure that those affected receive the best care possible,” the statement continued. “As always, we appreciate the support of our fans, partners and surrounding community, and we wish all those who are battling this virus a speedy recovery.”

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s positive test on March 11 essentially catapulted the seriousness of the virus in America, forcing an immediate suspension ofr the current 2019-20 NBA season, which is unlikely to resume until the summer, if at all.

Gobert, who famously touched a number of reporters’ microphones on video just days prior to poke fun at the disease, sparked a chain of events and closures throughout the country.

Now, the NBA’s list of infected players and personnel include Gobert, teammate Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, two unnamed Los Angeles Lakers, three unnamed members of the Philadelphia 76ers organization, and one unnamed member of the Denver Nuggets, along with the four Nets, then unnamed by the team.

Two-time NBA Finals MVP and transcendent star Kevin Durant was one of the four Nets who tested positive for the disease. He was the only player identified.

“Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine,” he said in a short statement. “We're going to get through this.”

Famed rap and R&B artist Drake, who had recently spent time with Durant, took a test that came back negative, he said on his Instagram story.

“I had to take a test yesterday,” Drake told his dad on Instagram live this past weekend. “Yeah, I had to do a test, but it came back negative. That test is uncomfortable, though. They put that q-tip all the way inside your thoughts.”

All NBA players who have been infected have said their health is in good order, and have preached social distancing, a mantra and action Americans are collectively trying to practice in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Several players in the NBA have also stepped up to collectively offer millions of dollars to cover the wages of arena workers in their respective cities amid the coronavirus crises.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zion Williamson and Kevin Love were among individual players to step forward and make six-figure donations, followed by several organizations who announced payment plans to follow suit.

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was the first owner to step forward almost immediately upon the season suspension, announcing that he would aid arena workers, who depend on the income from working NBA game nights.

It is unknown whether or not the NBA will return to complete the 2019-20 playoffs, along with whatever can be salvaged of a regular season. The league offered a timeline in a recent memo, indicating it could return in June with the playoffs running through as late as August.
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