KEY POINTS

  • Rudy Gobert diagnosis of coronavirus brought the issue to the spotlight
  • Other major league tournaments canceled their games after the NBA suspension
  • Gobert’s most recent update was about him losing his sense of taste and smell

Easily the player that the public is blaming for the coronavirus in the NBA, but Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert may have played the hero role for the entire league and maybe, even the entire country.

That is what a sports executive said about the diagnosis of the French big man who will forever be known as the first-ever player to test positive in the NBA. Rather than thinking of the possibility of him having physical contact with other players, his diagnosis proved to be more than just someone falling ill.

The Star’s Bruce Andrew published an article about an executive who looks at this scary situation as a positive one as the virus isn’t being taken seriously until someone from one of the major sports leagues in the world got it. “It resulted in the most significant public acknowledgment in North America that this was an emergency, that the coronavirus outbreak was real,” said the unnamed official.

“Honestly, Rudy Gobert saved America. He really did.”

After the news broke out about the reigning back-to-back best defensive player in the NBA caught COVID-19, the seriousness of the pandemic was unintentionally brought to the spotlight, making everybody aware that the virus chooses no one to infect. Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News took notice of how organizations from different fields decided to take the matter seriously and suspend the games to avoid the spread of the virus. “And then the dominoes began to fall, hockey and conference tournaments in college basketball and then the big one, the NCAA men’s tournament. Spring training in Florida and Arizona was called after Thursday’s games,” the author said.

The “Stifle Tower” was put into the bad spot after Donovan Mitchell, his teammate, tested positive for the virus before several other players and teams revealed that they have players or team members caught the disease, mostly asymptomatic. Gobert’s last update about himself was via Twitter where he shared about losing his sense of smell and taste during his isolation.

Christian Wood, Marcus Smart, Kevin Durant and three other players in Brooklyn and other unnamed positive cases from Denver, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia were discovered, indicating that this virus can infect anybody regardless of status. All sporting events are being attended by a lot of fans and most of the time, athletes interact with them, which could have caused an even bigger threat if the player didn't know he or she is already a carrier of the virus.

The 27-year old Gobert did not intentionally contract the disease to be talked but without him knowing that he’s got it, he may have saved more lives if nobody convinced everybody about the seriousness of this pandemic is.

Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz and Rudy Gobert #27 talk against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center on January 06, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images