Second player in NBA’s Utah Jazz tests positive for coronavirus

The All-Star guard confirmed on social media that he was the second player, after Rudy Gobert, to test positive.

Donovan Mitchell
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell reacts during a game against the New York Knicks [File: Sarah Stier/AP Photo]

A second member of the National Basketball A’s Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The team confirmed Thursday morning that a second Jazz player had tested positive for the virus, but did not identify the player. The All-Star guard later confirmed the report over social media.

All-Star centre Rudy Gobert tested positive on Wednesday, and his diagnosis led to the United States-based NBA opting to suspend its season indefinitely.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.”

Gobert, 27, was seen touching every reporter’s microphone stationed at the podium at the end of a media session Monday that addressed, in part, the coronavirus. His action was perceived to be done in a joking manner.

Mitchell addressed his situation on Instagram.

“Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test,” he wrote.

“We are learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them.

“I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the Utah Jazz who have been so supportive. I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help.”

The Jazz said those affiliated with the team are working closely with federal and Oklahoma and Utah state officials “to monitor their health and determine the best path moving forward.”

Mitchell, 23, leads the Jazz in scoring with 24.2 points per game. He is averaging 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists through 63 games.

Players and staff for Utah remain quarantined at a hotel in Oklahoma City pending the results of all coronavirus tests.

All members of the franchise who travelled on the team charter were required to submit to a cheek swab to test for COVID-19 after Gobert tested positive. The Jazz originally thought Gobert had the flu, and he was listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s game with Oklahoma City Thunder, which was cancelled.

The NBA told teams that have played the Jazz in the past 10 days that they should self-quarantine. Utah’s opponents since March 2 were the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.

Source: Reuters