The Coronavirus has greatly impacted the sports world. All major college sporting events (NCAA tournaments) and all leagues (NBA, NHL, MLB, XFL, etc.) have been either cancelled or postponed due to safety precautions. However, the virus has managed to impact professional athletes and coaches in various leagues.
So far, the NBA has witnessed three cases of Coronavirus, and was the first major sport with a COVID-19 case.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first, diagnosed on March 11. This was days after Gobert jokingly rubbed microphones after a press conference.
The NBA’s Twitter account released a message from Rudy Gobert on March 15.
Gobert stated, “I wish I would’ve took this thing more seriously, and I hope everyone else will do so because we can do it together.”
Gobert is a one-time NBA All-Star, 2x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and 3x NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Not only did Gobert’s carelessness potentially impact himself, but one of his teammates. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was the second Jazz player to be diagnosed with COVID-19, one day after Gobert was diagnosed.
Additionally, the NBA’s Twitter account posted a video from Donovan Mitchell on March 14. In his video, Mitchell said, “I feel fine, things are going well, taking the proper precautions. Can’t wait to get back on the floor, and play in front of the best fans in the world.”
Mitchell is a one-time NBA All-Star, won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion in 2018, and was named NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2018 as well.
Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood is the third known case of COVID-19 in the NBA. Wood’s diagnosis was announced on March 14.
Wood, 24, is in the midst of a breakout season with Detroit. He has averaged 13.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and shooting a stellar 56.7% from the field.
As for other sports in the U.S., the NHL has no known players or coaches affected by the Coronavirus. There is only one known case of the virus in the XFL and MLB. An unnamed Seattle Dragons player (XFL) was diagnosed on March 14 and an unnamed New York Yankees minor-league player was diagnosed on March 15.
Major league soccer is the other major sport that has been greatly devastated by the Coronavirus on a global scale.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani was the first Coronavirus case in soccer, diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 11. Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta was diagnosed on March 12. Furthermore, Chelsea, Fiorentina, Hannover, Olympiakos & Nottingham Forest, Paderborn, Sampdoria, and Valencia are other soccer clubs that have either players, coaches, or owners diagnosed with the Coronavirus.