Add Russell Westbrook to the list of NBA stars diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Houston Rockets star announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, noting, however, that he had yet to travel to the NBA’s Orlando bubble.
While Westbrook said he was feeling fine, he implored his followers to take the virus “seriously” and to “mask up.”
“I tested positive for covid-19 prior to my teams departure to Orlando. I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared,” Westbrook posted. “Thank you for all the well wishes and continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up! #whynot”
Teammates James Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute also did not travel with the team to DisneyWorld.
“These are things that people are dealing with,” said Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, who said he hoped the Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute would be able to join the team in Orlando soon.
Both players will be placed in 48-hour quarantine before being to rejoin their teammates, according to ESPN.com.
Westbrook’s situation is one of those things that feels cataclysmic in the moment, but may wind up being a blip on the radar down the line. There’s a chance that Westbrook won’t miss too many of the eight warmup games the Rockets will play before the postseason starts.
However, having a star of the caliber of Westbrook out points to why many think that the league’s restart is doomed to fail. Basketball-wise, there shouldn’t be too much drop-off given how the Rockets play on offense. Besides the natural rust that all players will have when we see them play in a few weeks, due to D’Antoni’s scheme, Westbrook should make a smooth transition back into the lineup.
Westbrook is the latest NBA star to announce he had contracted the virus. The NBA has been front and center of the epidemic dating back to mid-March when Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive, causing a league-wide shutdown. Gobert’s positive test was soon followed by teammate Donovan Mitchell’s and then Kevin Durant’s soon after.
The NBA’s decision to shut down, which began on March 11, quickly spread across all major sports.