Timeline Of Coronavirus, Wildest Two Weeks In NBA, Utah Jazz History
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It’s the one week anniversary since the NBA season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the league office and the media that covers the NBA has been a non-stop ticker tape or problem-solving, new guidelines, and speculation about what the future may hold.
With the blinding speed at which the league’s news has been released, it’s worth reflecting on the timeline from last week to better understand where the Utah Jazz ad the NBA stands today.
First, it’s important to remember that the events leading up to league’s suspension began more than a week before the Jazz game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was canceled, sending the league into a tailspin.
February 29: CJ McCollum Tweets
The first major attention paid to coronavirus by the NBA came in the form of a tweet from Portland Trailblazers guard CJ McCollum on Saturday, February 29. Shortly after the first case was reported in Oregon, McCollum stated that he was no longer going to be signing autographs or high fiving fans.
At the time, McCollum’s tweet seemed like he was taking an extreme approach to a yet to be fully realized crisis that was facing the world.
March 1: NBA Issues First Coronavirus Memo
On Sunday, March 1, the NBA sent a leaguewide memo to players informing them on 10 ways to limit their exposure to the virus.
Among the recommendations, players are advised to no longer handle pens, markers, jerseys, basketballs, or memorabilia autograph seekers may hand them.
Meanwhile, the Jazz embark on a seven day, four-game road trip with stops in Cleveland, New York, Boston, and Detroit.
March 6: NBA Reaffirms Stance On Game Cancellation Policy
After a tweet from The Athletic’s Shams Charania stating that teams have been instructed to prepare to play games without fans, league sources tell the NBA that a memo was sent to NBA teams informing them of the chain of command for any game alterations.
The Jazz defeat the Cavaliers, Knicks, Celtics, and Pistons to sweep the four-game road trip.
Jazz return to Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 7.
March 8: NBA Teams Begin To Pull Scouts From Road
On Sunday, March 8, the first NBA teams began to pull their scouts from road trips and NCAA conference tournaments get underway across the nation.
Sources tell KSL Sports that the Jazz aren’t one of those teams.
March 9: Jazz Move Media Availability to Conference Room
Before the Jazz were set to take on the Toronto Raptors on Monday, March 9, the team moves to the media availability at the Zions Bank Basketball Campus from the practice floor to the team’s media room.
Head Coach Quin Snyder and center Rudy Gobert meet with the media and discuss the actions the team has taken to address the spread of coronavirus. That morning, the Jazz had met with team doctors and officials from the University of Utah to discuss the importance of handwashing and hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus.
At the end of the presser conference, Gobert jokingly touches each microphone sitting on the table in front of him not knowing the action would become a video shared worldwide about the dangers of not taking the virus seriously.
Before the Jazz host the Raptors, the NBA issues a release that locker room access was restricted to non-essential organizational members. The league mandates that all media availability should include a six-foot barrier between players, coaches, and the media.
Meanwhile, the Larry H Miller Group of Companies, including the Jazz, issues a statement on how the corporation plans to address growing coronavirus concerns in the state of Utah.
That evening, the Jazz lose to the Raptors 101-92 in what would be the last game the team plays before the league is put on hiatus.
The next day the Jazz Travel To Oklahoma City to prepare for their game against the Thunder.
March 11: The Wildest Day In NBA History
The day begins with the first signs that coronavirus may have reached the NBA. The Jazz tweet out an update that Gobert and guard Emmanuel Mudiay are questionable for the evening’s game against the Thunder due to an illness.
Questions about Gobert’s availability remain fluid throughout the day. At Snyder’s pregame availability, the Jazz coach tells the media Gobert is out.
Shortly thereafter, the Jazz again re-iterate that Gobert is questionable before finally being downgraded to out. At
During the day, Gobert was tested for influenza, strep throat, and an upper respiratory infection, all of which came back negative. As a precaution, Gobert was tested for COVID-19.
6:10 p.m.: The game between the Jazz and Thunder was delayed as game officials waited for the league to issue permission to start the game.
6:20 p.m.: The Oklahoma City TV broadcast crew reports that Gobert’s reported illness is the cause of the game’s delay.
6:38 p.m.: The Oklahoma City Thunder PA Announcers tells fans that the game between the Jazz and Thunder and been postponed and fans were instructed to leave the arena but weren’t at any immediate risk.
7:27 p.m.: Shams Charania tweets that Gobert had tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first major American athlete and celebrity to contract the virus in the United States.
8:29 p.m.: The Jazz release a statement saying that a player (Gobert) from the team had tested positive for COVID-19, The statement said, “A preliminary positive result came back right before tip-off of the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City game. Subsequently, the decision was correctly made by the NBA to postpone the game. When it was determined that the individual would be tested, we immediately informed the league office.”
8:38 p.m.: After initial indicating the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings would proceed with their game as planned, the NBA cancels the event just before tip-off.
10:39 p.m.: After being quarantined in the team locker room, all Jazz players, team personnel, and traveling media are tested for coronavirus as mandated by the Oklahoma Health Department. The results of the tests wouldn’t be known until the morning.
Jazz players and media are held between a designated hotel and the arena as preparations are made to transport the team back to Salt Lake City
12:14 a.m.: ESPN Reporter Royce Young reports that the Jazz have left Chesapeake Energy Arena.
March 12: Donovan Mitchell Tests Positive
8:49 a.m.: Wojnarowski tweets that Donovan Mitchell is the second Jazz player to test positive for coronavirus. The reporter indicates that players within the Jazz locker room have been alarmed by Gobert’s careless attitude towards the virus before receiving a positive test.
10:17 a.m.: Power Conferences across college basketball cancel their conference basketball tournaments.
11:30 a.m.: Mithell offers his first public update on Instagram stating, “Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all 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.”
12:00 p.m.: Governor Gary Herbert and state officials, including Larry H Miller Group CEO Steve Starks hold press conference to offer updates on state regulations and the Jazz.
2:16 p.m.: NCAA announces both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments have been canceled. Most professional and amateur sports leagues in the United States are canceled or postponed.
2:17 p.m.: Gobert releases his first public statement confirming his positive test and apologizing for endangering those around him with his approach to the virus.
3:33 p.m.: Jazz players and media who tested negative for coronavirus land back in Utah. Emmanuel Mudiay who was also ill leading up to the team’s game against the Thunder tweets that his test for the virus came back negative. Mudiay offers support for Gobert and Mitchell.
4:18 p.m.: The NBA issues new guidelines to its teams. Franchises have been instructed to hold off on all group workouts and practices, while players are advised to remain in their host market until further notice.
6:31 p.m.: League Commissioner Adam Silver says the league will be suspended for 30 days and warns of the possibility that the league’s season could be canceled.
9:17 p.m.: The Jazz issue a press release informing the public that the team is meeting with the Utah Department of Health.
Jazz president Jim Olsen updates the public on the team and the credits the UDOH for their efforts.
“Utah residents should be comforted by the fact that dedicated professionals from the state and local public health agencies are looking out for their wellbeing […] We appreciate that these individuals are working tirelessly to provide Utahns with the same level of care we experienced today upon our arrival back in Salt Lake City.”
MARCH 13: Jazz Offer Refunds On Purchased Tickets
2:42 p.m.: The Jazz announce that refunds will be offered to fans who have purchased tickets to previously scheduled games.
3:07 p.m.: Mike Conley releases his first public statement after the league’s suspension in the form of a tweet hanging with his two children.
March 14: Mitchell Offers Update Through NBA
11:56 a.m.: Mitchell teams with the NBA to release a statement about coronavirus and feeling asymptomatic despite his positive test.
2:00 p.m.: Gobert announces that he will donate $500,000 to Vivint Smart Home Arena part-time employees, and families affected by coronavirus in Utah, Oklahoma, and France.
4:00 p.m.: Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green expresses support for Gobert amid the league’s hiatus.
6:05 p.m.: Charania tweets that Detroit Pistons big man Christian Wood has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the third NBA player, and first non-Jazz player to contract the virus.
March 15: Gobert Offers Video Update
11:00 a.m.: Teaming with the NBA, Gobert offers a video update on his status, and again warns the public to take coronavirus warnings seriously.
5:30 p.m.: The CDC warns against public gatherings of more than 50 people for eight weeks, effectively ending any hopes of the NBA returning to action before mid-May. Meanwhile, ESPN reports that NBA owners are hoping for mid to late June return for the NBA.
March 16: Mitchell Goes On Good Morning America
7:45 a.m.: Mitchell appears on Good Morning America to discuss his exposure to coronavirus. The Jazz guard confirms his frustrations with teammate Gobert,
“To be honest with you, Robin [Roberts], it took a while, for me to kinda cool off,” said Mitchell. “I read what he said and I heard what he said. You know, I’m glad he’s doing ok. I’m glad I’m doing well. I’m really happy to be honest Robin, that it’s just, you know, I hate to say this but it’s just the two of us. It wasn’t the whole party. At the end of the day, neither him or I have children at home. You know, I know some teammates, know some staff that have some children at home, so I’m glad that we were able to kind of contain it as much as possible.”
8:04 a.m.: In an effort to aid the Utah community, Mitchell pledges to support the Granite School District’s student meal program during the coronavirus pandemic.
March 17: Kevin Durant, Three Nets Test Positive For Coronavirus
1:56 p.m.: Brooklyn Nets report that they’ve had four players test positive for coronavirus. The Nets are the first team without recent contact with the Jazz to contract the virus.
3:24 p.m.: Kevin Durant tells The Athletic that he is one of four Nets players to contract coronavirus.
4:55 p.m.: KSL Sports learns that the Jazz will begin reairing recent classic Jazz games beginning Wednesday night.
March 18: NBA Makes League Pass Available To Public Free Of Charge
2:13 p.m.: The NBA announced that it will make the NBA League Pass streaming service free to the public during the league’s hiatus.
The complimentary offering of league pass according to the league will give fans access to full length and condensed replays of all games from the 2019-20 season as well as an expansive archive of classic games and content.
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Your Life Your Health: How can parents prepare their home, children against coronavirus?
How Do I Prevent It?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.
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