- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban learned the NBA was suspending the season on live TV, in the middle of a Dallas Mavericks game.
- The league announced the season would be suspended and that Wednesday would be the final night of the season for the foreseeable future after Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
- In an interview, Cuban said the situation felt more like a movie than reality, saying the situation was much bigger than basketball.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban learned that the NBA season was being suspended after Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus in the middle of a Dallas Mavericks game.
Cuban was sitting in his usual courtside seat during the Mavericks-Denver Nuggets game when ESPN cameras caught Cuban reading his phone, reacting, then showing people nearby.
Here’s the moment:
Mark Cuban reacts moments after the NBA season was suspended. pic.twitter.com/4g8Z7yLts6
— ESPN (@espn) March 12, 2020
The NBA almost immediately suspended the season after news of Gobert’s positive test broke. The Jazz were set to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and according to the NBA, Gobert tested positive prior to tip-off. The game was postponed, then eventually called off. According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, both the Jazz and Thunder are currently quarantined at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Moments after news of the suspension broke, Cuban spoke to ESPN, calling the moment “more like out of a movie than reality.”
Cuban said although he wasn’t an expert on the situation, he deferred to the NBA. He said the situation is now bigger than basketball or money.
“It’s really not about basketball or money,” Cuban said. “If this thing is just exploding to the point where all of the sudden players and others have it, you think about your family. You want to really make sure you’re doing this the right way. Now it’s much more personal.
“You’ve seen what’s happened in other countries. But just the idea that it’s come this close and potentially a couple other players have it – stunning isn’t the right word. It’s crazy.”
Cuban said the Mavs had a plan in place to also take care of arena workers who earn hourly wages and would be affected by the suspension.
“This is much bigger than the NBA,” he said. “When we talk about getting the season back on track, that means all this got worked out, right? That maybe we understand more about it, and it will be less of an issue for the entire world. That’s really what’s most important.”
Watch Cuban’s interview below:
"This is crazy. This can't be true. … It seemed more like out of a movie than reality."
—Mark Cuban explains his reaction to hearing that the NBA was suspending its season. pic.twitter.com/MHyrAD4D0f
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
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