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MANILA, Philippines – Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell is now the second NBA player to test positive for COVID-19, per a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday, March 12, Manila time.
This development comes just hours after Mitchell’s fellow All-Star teammate Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to fall victim to the ongoing pandemic, prompting an immediate league-wide suspension effective Thursday morning. (READ: NBA to suspend season after Jazz player tests positive for coronavirus)
Wojnarowski also reported through his sources that Gobert had been “careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings.”
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. 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.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2020
While the tweet did not specify if Gobert interacted with his teammates pre- or post-COVID detection, the French big man was caught jokingly touching microphones and other reporters’ equipment during an earlier press conference.
Here’s Rudy Gobert touching a bunch of reporters’ audio equipment 2 days ago. Today, he tested positive for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Z3Lw1yfCfW— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 12, 2020
Shams Charania of The Athletic added that only Mitchell tested positive out of 58 tests administered.
Sources: Donovan Mitchell was the only Jazz player/personnel to test positive for coronavirus out of 58 tests administered on Wednesday night. Remaining tests came back negative.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
Rudy Gobert’s locker is next to Donovan Mitchell’s, FWIW. https://t.co/nPPywTgypx— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 12, 2020
Apart from the Jazz, who boarded a plane that was also used by the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies, 5 other teams have also been ordered to self-quarantine after playing the Jazz in the last 10 days.
These are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors, all Eastern Conference teams who hosted the Western contender.
Along with the Jazz, the Oklahoma City Thunder are also quarantined inside the Chesapeake Energy Arena as of posting to prevent further potential spreading of the highly-contagious disease.
The two playoff contenders were just about to start their game on Thursday afternoon before the NBA called the game off and promptly sent the Thunder fans home.
No NBA games have been played since then. (READ: NBA season over: ‘Unprecedented, unreal’)
Mitchell – who averages 24.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game for the Jazz this season – introduced himself to Filipino fans last year after visiting the Philippines as a part of his rookie year sneaker promotion. – Rappler.com