NBA Coronavirus Update: Which Players Have Tested Positive?

The number of coronavirus cases in the NBA has reached 14 after two Los Angeles Lakers players and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart were confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

The Celtics released a statement indicating a player, who they did not identify, had tested positive because of "exposure to a known positive case," adding the player had been in isolation for a number of days and was asymptomatic.

Smart subsequently revealed he was the player in question after being tested five days earlier and receiving his result on Thursday evening.

"I'm OK, I feel fine. I don't feel any of the symptoms," he said in a video he posted on Twitter. "But I can't stress enough practicing social distancing and really keeping yourself away from a large group of people and just really washing your hands and help protect yourself. And help protect others by protecting yourself."

The 26-year-old then urged the public to adhere to the social distancing measures the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has put in place to stem the outbreak of coronavirus.

"The younger generation in our country must self distance," he added. "This is not a joke. Not doing so is selfish. Together we can beat this, but we must beat it together by being apart for a short while."

The Lakers tested their players on Wednesday after four Brooklyn Nets players, including Kevin Durant, tested positive to COVID-19 earlier this week. The Lakers' last game before the NBA season was suspended last week was at home against the Nets on March 10.

The 16-time NBA champions confirmed in a statement that two players had tested positive, but the duo were not identified.

"We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive," the Lakers said in a statement.

"Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team's physician. All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines, closely monitor their health, consult with their personal physicians and maintain constant communication with the team."

Speaking on the Full 48 podcast with Howard Beck earlier in the day, Lakers guard Danny Green explained players would have to self-isolate, regardless of whether they tested positive or negative.

"We are all still waiting back as a group, as a team, to figure out what our results are so we know the necessary steps to take moving forward," Green said. "But either way, negative or positive results, we still have to be quarantined for a couple of weeks so I am in the house as well, just like you are."

Earlier on Thursday, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets both announced members of their organizations had tested positive to COVID-19, but neither team confirmed whether any of their players were affected.

The Sixers said tests were carried out on players, coaches and basketball operations support staff and that the three individuals who had returned a positive test were in self-isolation and will be monitored by medical professional. The Nuggets, meanwhile, said the positive test belonged to a person who had experienced symptoms and received confirmation of positivity on Monday.

The Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder have both reported nobody among their organizations tested positive.

The NBA season was suspended for at least 30 days last Wednesday after Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert became the first player to test positive for coronavirus.

In the last seven days, another six NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus, including the Frenchman's Utah Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood and the four Nets players.

As of Friday morning, over 14,000 cases have been reported in the U.S., with over 200 deaths and 121 people recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University which has been tracking the outbreak using combined data sources.

Over 10,000 people have died since the outbreak of coronavirus began in Wuhan, a city located in China's central Hubei province, late last year. There are over 245,000 cases globally, with more than 86,000 recovered.

Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at TD Garden on March 8 in Boston, Massachusetts. Omar Rawlings/Getty
NBA Coronavirus Update: Which Players Have Tested Positive? | Sports