The Perfect Enemy | On this day: NBA suspends season following Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test in OKC - OKC Thunder Wire
February 26, 2024

On this day: NBA suspends season following Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test in OKC – OKC Thunder Wire

On this day: NBA suspends season following Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test in OKC  OKC Thunder Wire

On this day three years ago, Oklahoma City set off a chain reaction of the United States essentially shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 11, 2020, the NBA postponed the Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game due to Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19. Gobert was the first known NBA player to test positive for the virus.

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Later that night, the league suspended its season. In the following days, sport leagues throughout the country followed suit as they also either suspended or canceled their seasons.

The Thunder entered the game just one game back from the Jazz for a top-four seed in the Western Conference standings. It was billed as a critical game for OKC’s chances of earning homecourt advantage in the playoffs with just roughly a month left in the regular season.

The league would resume its season five months later on July 30 in the infamous NBA Bubble inside of Orlando, FL. The Thunder were one of the 22 teams invited to the bubble, where teams weren’t allowed to leave it until their season concluded.

The league scheduled eight regular season games for all 22 teams and also introduced the Play-In tournament concept during the bubble.

The Thunder’s season ended in a Game 7 loss of their first round series against the Houston Rockets. The only Thunder players remaining from that roster are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort.

Following their exit, the Thunder blew up their roster and shifted to development mode. Chris Paul was traded to the Phoenix Suns, Steven Adams was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, Dennis Schroder was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and Danilo Gallinari signed a deal with the Atlanta Hawks. The Thunder also changed head coaches, going from Billy Donovan to Mark Daigneault.