Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, entering the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.
Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the Coronavirus on March 11, 2020, and his positive test resulted in an immediate suspension of the NBA season.
Utah had been one of the luckiest teams so far this season and had managed to avoid major disruptions to their team through health and safety protocols, but now they have two players absent: Australian Joe Ingles also entered the protocols on Tuesday.
Prior to the placement of Ingles, the Jazz had been the only NBA team that still had a player on the protocols this season.
The other 29 teams had a player sidelined by COVID-19 at some point in the past three weeks during this outbreak, with many of them placing more than 10 players on that list.
Gobert was at the center of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, and it made headlines when, just days before testing positive, he placed his hands on journalists’ voice recorders and microphones before leaving the room.
“That came from a good intention”, Gobert said he wanted people to know about the incident. “It was the first day that we found out that the media was not going to be able to interview us, right next to us, and, you know, we obviously didn’t know as much as we do now, and I just knew that to try and cheer up a bit. the mood. Of course, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t. ”
Days later he tested positive and the season was suspended. Two years later, the league is seeing a spike in cases as many franchises struggle just to have enough players available to dress up. Teams may sign players under the Hardship Exception: The Hardship Waiver is a temporary roster spot that allows teams to exceed the 15-man roster limit in times of need (multiple players are out due to injury or illness), but signings are only temporarily until they once again have enough players to dress up.
Gobert is averaging 15.5 points, 15.1 rebounds in 37 games so far this season.
Utah (28-10) will face the Raptors in Toronto on Friday.