NBA insider Shams Charania took Twitter by storm last night when he announced the NBA’s decision to suspend the 2019-2020 NBA season. The reason for this hiatus in play is the coronavirus (COVID-19). The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic earlier in the day yesterday.

What caused the NBA to shut down?

Before coronavirus was confirmed to be effecting their players the National Basketball Association spoke of potential precautions. Potential options included the cancelling of the season at worst and teams playing games with no fans at best. These measures secure the safety of the fans, players and staff.

The catalyst for the NBA taking action was Utah Jazz’s centre Rudy Gobert. He was confirmed to have the illness prior to the Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz game. Players and staff involved were immediately quarantined and tested and the game was cancelled.

Those at risk

The coronavirus takes 2-14 days for symptoms to become apparent. Utah has played 7 games against 6 different teams since February 26th. This results in 20 different teams being one degree of separation from Gobert and the Jazz. This does not include media members and arena staff.

A list of all NBA teams that have faced the Utah Jazz in the past 14 days and who they have faced.

Is the NBA overreacting?

People have questioned if the league has made a premature decision and isn’t just succumbing to fear mongering. The NBA made the right decision. It is better to overreact and be wrong then to not react at all and have people be unnecessarily infected. With the playoffs around the corner the NBA is about to peak in popularity, and with fans coming to games it is imperative that the league be proactive in dealing with this pandemic.

The scene right now

The NBA has suspended all activities for the next 30 days at minimum. The Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics and our Toronto Raptors have all been assigned to an incubation period due to recently playing the Jazz. Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the virus. American based sports leagues have followed suit with postponing their respective seasons. The MLB and MLS seasons have been postponed as well.

Mark Cuban believes this is a postponement of the NBA season and not a cancellation. He predicts that at the very least the playoffs will still be played. Regardless of the outcome, this season will have an asterisk due to these events.

It’s been a tumultuous time for the basketball community. First losing David Stern, then Kobe and Gigi Bryant, and now the postponement of the season. These are very trying times for sports and the world at large.

Ball is life… until life decides to get serious.