“Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players’ direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus,’’ he said in a statement. “Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive. Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their test results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow C.D.C. recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.”
Last week, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz were revealed to have tested positive for the coronavirus, as was Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons. The Nets last played the Pistons on Jan. 29 and the Jazz on Jan. 14, but it would be difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint how players have become infected because of how frequently the 30 teams in the league play.
The N.B.A. postponed its season on March 11, shortly after learning that Gobert had tested positive for the virus, which has rapidly spread across the world — grinding economies to a halt and causing thousands of deaths.
In the United States, almost all professional sports leagues are at a standstill as many local and state governments restrict large gatherings. The N.B.A. has had the most players publicly revealed to have the virus, and its season is in danger of being canceled.
Last week, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver said on TNT’s “Inside the N.B.A.” that he expected the league to be out of action for at least a month.
Gobert, the first player known to have tested positive, has faced backlash for making light of the epidemic in the days leading up to finding out he had Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. The N.B.A. has also been criticized for allowing multiple games to be played while the coronavirus was spreading across the United States.
Gobert apologized the day after the N.B.A. season was postponed, saying “I was careless and make no excuse.”