NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said late Thursday that the league will be closed for at least 30 days as public health officials are recommending that large gatherings be eliminated to ease the spread of coronavirus nationally.
Silver abruptly shuttered the league Wednesday night after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. Two games were postponed on Wednesday night before fully suspending the season.
Silver indicated the league intends to resume play and finish the season.
Silver hinted that games could still be played in front of closed arenas following the 30-day hiatus.
The NBA released the following statement:
"As you know, we have temporarily suspended our season in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We made this decision to safeguard the health and well-being of fans, players, everyone connected to our game and the general public. This hiatus will last at least 30 days and we intend to resume the season, if and when it becomes safe for all concerned.
"In the meantime, we will continue to coordinate with infectious disease and public health experts along with government officials to determine safe protocols for resuming our games. As we develop the appropriate course for future NBA games and events, we will keep you informed of any changes as soon as they happen. Tickets already purchased for a postponed game will be honored when the game is rescheduled. If games are not played or played in an empty arena, teams will work with fans on a credit for a future game or a refund.
"We encourage you to visit NBA.com for the latest news, updates and interactive features to stay connected to the game. You will also find guidelines on how to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.
"This remains a complicated and rapidly evolving situation that reminds us that we are all part of a broader society with a responsibility to look out for one another. That is what the NBA will continue to do, and we are grateful for your understanding and for being the best fans in sports."
MLS made a similar announcement on Thursday, saying its league would also be shutdown for 30 days.