COVID-19: Knicks owner James Dolan joins Durant, Gobert among NBA figures to test positive for coronavirus

The coronavirus is spreading like wildfire across the globe, and figures from every part of the sports world have been infected. A number of athletes have confirmed that their tests came up positive. In the United States alone, the coronavirus has infected multiple unnamed minor league baseball players, an unnamed XFL player, and most prominently, a number of figures from the NBA. The latest big name to register a positive test was New York Knicks owner James Dolan, who is currently not experiencing symptoms according to an announcement from the team

It was Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s positive test which really set in motion the suspension of not only the NBA season, but sports across the country. The good news is that Gobert, along with teammate Donovan Mitchell, have both fully recovered from the coronavirus, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic

The most recent batch of positive tests from players came on Thursday, March 19, from the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets. The Lakers reportedly had two players test positive for COVID-19, while the 76ers confirmed that three members of the organization have the coronavirus, with all other test results coming back negative. The Nuggets announced one positive test result from their organization, and Celtics guard Marcus Smart also announced that he tested positive, bringing the NBA total to 14 individuals from seven different teams.

On Tuesday, March 17, we learned of four players who have tested positive for the illness — all members of the Brooklyn Nets, including former MVP Kevin Durant. The star forward has not played this season due to a torn Achilles tendon, and was already not planning to return even if things get pushed back late into the summer.

Last Tuesday, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass issued a statement on the number of active players who have received tests for the COVID-19 virus at that point in time. 

“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. Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive. Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their rest results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow CDC recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.”

As this process continues to unfold, there will likely be even more NBA players who test positive for the coronavirus, as it is unfortunately extremely contagious. Below is a list of players around the league who have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19:

NBA Members who tested positive for coronavirus:

  • Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz — Diagnosis announced on  March 11 (Update: cleared on March 27)
  • Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz — Diagnosis announced on March 12 (Update: cleared on March 27)
  • Christian Wood, Detroit Pistons — Diagnosis announced on March 14 (Update: “Fully recovered,” per agent)
  • Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets — Diagnosis announced on March 17
  • Three unnamed players, Brooklyn Nets — Diagnosis announced on March 17
  • One unnamed member of organization, Denver Nuggets — Diagnosis announced on March 19
  • Three unnamed members of organization, Philadelphia 76ers — Diagnosis announced on March 19
  • Two unnamed players, Los Angeles Lakers — Diagnosis reported on March 19
  • Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics — Diagnosis announced on March 19
  • James Dolan, New York Knicks owner — Diagnosis announced March 28


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