Basketball / NBA

Jazz's Rudy Gobert regrets not taking virus threat more seriously before testing positive

AFP-JIJI

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, says he is feeling better every day but wishes he had taken it more seriously.

The 27-year-old French national gave an update about his condition Sunday in a video released by the NBA on social media in which he urged people to take precautions to not spread the virus.

“It’s all about protecting yourself and the people around you,” Gobert said. “I wish I would’ve taken this thing more seriously and I hope everyone else is going to do so because we can do it together.

“Take care and stay safe.”

Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 just before the scheduled tipoff between Utah and Oklahoma City on Wednesday, causing the game to be postponed.

“I’ve been feeling a little better every single day thanks to the health care people of Utah and Oklahoma City and all the great people around,” Gobert said.

Minutes after Gobert’s positive test, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the league was suspending its season.

Over the next two days, nearly every major U.S. sports organization followed suit, with the virus forcing the postponement of events like college basketball’s men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments, golf’s Masters and the Boston Marathon.

Gobert wasn’t taking the virus threat seriously last Monday, something that was clear during a news conference that was conducted in a separate room because reporters were banned from NBA locker rooms due to the danger of catching the virus.

As he departed, Gobert made a point of touching all of the reporters’ recorders in front of him as well as the microphone he used.

His teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus last Thursday.

In the video, Gobert urged people do such basics as wash their hands well and refrain from touching their face and thanked those who have supported him since his positive test.

“Thank you to all the people who have been supportive for all the positive energy,” Gobert said. “It means a lot.”

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