Jazz's Rudy Gobert Apologizes to Fans, Players After Coronavirus Diagnosis

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 01: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts in the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Moda Center on February 01, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert released a statement on Instagram after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Gobert thanked fans for their support and apologized for unknowingly spreading COVID-19 prior to being diagnosed:

"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus."

The Jazz were scheduled to play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. Moments before the tipoff, players from both teams were ushered back to their locker rooms, and the game was postponed.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski then reported Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tested positive as well and that Gobert was receiving criticism from some of his teammates: "Jazz players are privately saying that Gobert showed a cavalier attitude toward the virus in the locker room, touching teammates and their belongings."

After the NBA issued guidelines forbidding reporters from entering locker rooms due to the coronavirus, Gobert appeared to make light of the situation by going out of his way to touch all of the microphones in front of him at an availability session Monday.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that players from the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors had been told to self-quarantine after recently playing the Jazz.

The New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings also postponed their game Thursday night, with the Los Angeles Times' Arash Markazi noting referee Courtney Kirkland worked in the Jazz's 101-92 loss to the Raptors on Monday.

The NBA suspended the 2019-20 season indefinitely because of the ongoing pandemic.