Coronavirus: Kiwi Steven Adams' health scare, as NBA season suspended

Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams has been caught up in the US coronavirus scare, as the league suspended its season indefinitely.

Thursday's (NZ time) scheduled game between Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz was abandoned just before tipoff.

With a full stadium at Chesapeake Energy Arena, players had completed warm-ups and pre-match introductions, when medical staff ushered them back to the locker-rooms and spectators waited almost an hour, before an official announcement that the fixture had been postponed.

As President Donald Trump closed the US borders to Europe, Frenchmen Rudy Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay were taken to Mercy Medical Center to be tested for coronavirus.

If the game had gone ahead as scheduled, rival centres Adams and Gobert would have been in close contact for most of the 48 minutes.

Gobert reportedly returned a positive test for the illness, and Adams and the other players were quarantined in the stadium, as the NBA announced it would suspend the competition. 

French guard Even Fournier, who plays for Orlando Magic, later tweeted: "Was just on the phone with Rudy.

"He is doing good, man. Let's not panic everyone. Love you all."

"A player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19," announced the NBA. 

"The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight's game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder.

"At that time, tonight's game was cancelled. The affected player was not in the arena.

"The NBA is suspending game play following the conculsion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

According to ESPN, Utah Jazz players are still at the arena in Oklahoma as of Thursday evening (NZ time), and will have to wait before their tests come back clean before they are cleared to return home - likely via a chartered bus.

The NBA has also ordered players who have been on contact with Rudy Gobert in the last two weeks to self-isolate. 

Royce Young is reporting that Steven Adams and his OKC teammates have left the arena in Oklahoma, but the Jazz players are currently undergoing tests. 

In a bizarre scenario, five other NBA games were in progress and another about to start, as the league made the decision to suspend its schedule.

The New Orleans-Sacramento Kings fixture was later called off, when it was discovered one of the officials had worked a Utah game, involving Gobert, earlier this week. 

"This seems more like out of a movie than reality," said Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, watching his team battle Denver Nuggets.

"These are scary times," said Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego, before his team beat the Miami Heat.