The NBA’s coronavirus scare reached its preeminent broadcasting studio on Thursday when Hall of Famer Charles Barkley revealed he is self-quarantining while awaiting results for a COVID-19 test.
Barkley discussed the situation in a phone call on TNT.
“I spent the earlier part of the week in New York City. When I got to Atlanta yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well,” Barkley said. “I talked to a couple people at Turner and a couple doctors and they told me to self-quarantine for the next 48 hours. I started yesterday, this is my second day.
“I haven’t been feeling great and they didn’t want me to take any chances ... I went and took the coronavirus test late this afternoon, I have not gotten the results back. So I’m just kinda in limbo right now. I’m really hoping it was just a bug.”
Barkley had advocated for playing games with fans
Barkley’s quarantine comes just two days after an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in which he questioned the merits of closing down NBA games:
Amid recent reports that the NBA is considering crowd-less games, due to the virus, Barkley questioned the point. "I'm like, OK, if they don't come to games, are they not going to live their lives? Are they not going to go to work? Are they not going to go out and have dinner and things like that?” asked Barkley. “Just not coming to a basketball game, I don't think that's going to solve all the issues.”
In the 48 hours since that quote, the NBA has suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. One other player, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive for the virus.
Several other sports leagues — including the NHL, MLB and NCAA — soon followed the NBA’s lead in suspending their seasons or canceling events.
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