Injured NBA All-Star Kevin Durant and three of his Brooklyn Nets teammates have tested positive for coronavirus, joining Utah Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert as well as Detroit’s Christian Wood as the league’s only known cases.
The club announced the diagnoses on Tuesday afternoon without mentioning any names. Shortly thereafter Durant told Shams Charania of The Athletic that he was among the unidentified players who contracted the virus.
‘Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine,’ Durant told The Athletic. ‘We’re going to get through this.’
The Nets tested players following a return from flight San Francisco, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The team paid a private firm to conduct the tests, which came back positive on Tuesday.
One player is dealing with aches while others have experienced a few symptoms as well.
The team is currently reaching out to those who may have been exposed to the four infected players.
‘The organization is currently notifying anyone who has had known contact with the players, including recent opponents, and is working closely with state and local health authorities on reporting,’ read a team statement on Tuesday.
Kevin Durant (center in street clothes) warned fans to take the coronavirus threat seriously
Injured NBA All-Star Kevin Durant and three of his Brooklyn Nets teammates have tested positive for coronavirus , joining Utah Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert as well as Detroit’s Christian Wood as the league’s only known cases. The club announced the diagnoses on Tuesday afternoon without mentioning any names. Shortly thereafter Durant told Shams Carania of The Athletic that he was among the unidentified players who contracted the virus
‘All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health and maintain constant communication with team medical staff,’ the statement continued. The health of our players and staff is of the highest priority to the organization and the team is doing everything within its power to ensure that those affected receive the best care possible.’
‘As always, we appreciate the support of our fans, partners and surrounding community, and we wish all those who are battling this virus a speedy recovery.’
The NBA previously announced a one-month hiatus before the CDC recommended avoiding large gatherings for the next eight weeks.
On Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported that NBA owners and executives are bracing for the league to be out until mid-June – a week or so after the scheduled season was supposed to end.
While there are fears that the season may not resume, according to Wojnarowski, the league is considering several unprecedented possibilities, such as playing league games at teams’ semi-private practice facilities, where broadcasters would have the opportunity to produce a different kind of television experience for fans.
On Thursday Mitchell announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus, saying that he is personally dealing with the pandemic that has temporarily shut down the NBA and other major sports leagues.
Later, Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert — the first NBA player to test positive, which prompted the league to suspend the season — also confirmed his status and apologized. ‘I was careless and make no excuse,’ Gobert said in an Instagram post.
Mitchell’s positive test was not known until early Thursday, the first full day of the NBA’s hiatus. Jazz players, staff and some beat writers covering the team were tested Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, where Utah was to play the Thunder in a game that was called off moments before tipoff once word about Gobert’s positive test was received.
A note regarding the suspension of the NBA season is seen at Golden 1 Center where a game between the Nets and the Kings had been cancelled following the decision by the league to suspend the season in response to the Covid 19 coronavirus outbreak
Also Thursday, the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors — teams that have all recently played against Gobert, Mitchell and the Jazz — all said that they were having some players and staff self-quarantine for as many as 14 days. The Cleveland Cavaliers, another team that has recently faced Utah, said they are not mandating quarantines yet but would if any of their players exhibit symptoms.
‘Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test,’ Mitchell wrote in an Instagram post. ‘We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them.’
Gobert was not among those behaving responsibly.
It started as a joke: Before leaving a media session at shootaround in Salt Lake City on Monday in advance of a game against Detroit, Gobert touched all the tape recorders that were placed before him on a table, devices that reporters who cover the Jazz were using.
‘You know, there’s not much we can do right now,’ Gobert said in that session when asked about how teams are dealing with the virus. And a minute or so later, before he ran out a side door, he touched all the recorders.
Mitchell remains asymptomatic but says he needed to ‘cool off’ upon learning he contracted coronavirus.
It has not been proven that Mitchell contracted the virus from Gobert.
Mitchell, 23, spoke to ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday from his home, where he has remained quarantined since becoming the second Jazz player to test positive for coronavirus last week.
‘To be honest with you, it took a while for me to cool off,’ Mitchell told Good Morning America. ‘I read [his public apology], and I heard what he said. I’m glad he’s doing OK. I’m glad I’m doing well.’
Coming off three NBA Finals appearances and two titles with the Golden State Warriors, Durant landed in Brooklyn this season via a sign-and-trade deal, while inking a new four-year, $165 million deal with the Nets.
That contract was signed after Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals defeat to the Toronto Raptors. He is not expected to play until the 2020-2021 season.
Rudy Gobert (right) and Donovan Mitchell (left) were the NBA’s first coronavirus cases