He was likely making a joke when he brushed his hand across the surfaces on the media table after a session with reporters.
Days later, he was announced as the first active U.S. pro athlete to be diagnosed with coronavirus.
Rudy Gobert, the 27-year-old center who’s started every game for the Utah Jazz this season, was the impetus to the NBA suspending its games indefinitely as the world grapples with the outbreak of a virus it doesn’t know how to cure.
The Associated Press reported that Gobert tested positive, but the person who spoke to the AP did so on the condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the team confirmed the presumptive positive test.
As part of the Jazz’s COVID-19 response, shootaround availability was done in the ZBBC media room today rather than on the court. As Rudy Gobert got finished discussing the situation, he stood up, leaned over and made it a point to touch every mic and recorder in front of him. 😂— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 9, 2020
Gobert, in the first media availability after the NBA stopped reporters from entering the locker room as a preventative measure, made a point to touch the microphones and recorders placed on the table in front of him on Monday.
You can see him do it in the video here:
Rudy Gobert thought it was funny to touch every single mic and recorder in the media room.— Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) March 12, 2020
Now, he has Coronavirus and the entire NBA season is suspendedpic.twitter.com/A22U5AgmBi
On Wednesday, the Thunder and Jazz were seconds away from tipping off when a representative of the Thunder’s medical staff ran onto the floor to talk to referees. Then, players and staff were sent back to their respective locker rooms.
Shortly after, the news broke: The NBA season was suspended.
Late Wednesday, media members who cover the Jazz received a message from the Utah department of health, saying that Gobert’s touching on Monday constituted a “low-risk” environment.
This is the information I got from the Utah Department of Health regarding Rudy Gobert and media interaction. #NBA pic.twitter.com/vxFr9DJPbz— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) March 12, 2020
Katie McInerney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.