Coronavirus: NBA star Rudy Gobert apologises 'to people I have endangered'

  • 13/03/2020

Utah Jazz NBA star Rudy Gobert  has apologised to "the people that I may have endangered" for his behavior before testing positive for coronavirus.

On Thursday (NZ time), Gobert was the first NBA player diagnosed with COVID-19, just before the Jazz were about to tip off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which led to the league shutting down.

If the game had proceeded as planned, with Gobert playing, he would have been closely marked by Kiwi centre Steven Adams.

Since then Utah teammate Donavan Mitchell has also tested positive. 

Earlier this week, Gobert appeared to joke about the coronavirus, after an interview session with reporters. He made a point of touching all their tape recorders and microphones on his way to the team's shootaround. 

ESPN also reports that Frenchman Gobert was seen touching personal possessions of Jazz teammates. 

"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologise to the people that I may have endangered," Gobert wrote on his Instagram page. 

"At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse.

"I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously.

"I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as a way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus."

Gobert thanked everyone who had reached out to him since the news broke and reaffirmed he would be OK.

"I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis… mostly fear, anxiety and embarrassment.

"I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. 

"I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love."

Gobert wasn't at Chesapeake Arena when the game was called off, after he'd been ruled out with illness earlier in the day.