We're getting major Rudy Gobert deja vu, and it does not feel good. Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic became the most recent high-profile athlete to test positive for COVID-19, an unfortunate bit of news amid the NBA's preparations to restart the 2019-20 season in Orlando.
Jokic is the first publicly-announced positive test since the days following the official halting of the season in early March. The league recently began testing all athletes who will be a part of the the "bubble" that is being created in Orlando to play out the remainder of the season. The Joker may have been the first, but we can be highly confident he won't be the last.
Jokic will likely still be able to play in the bubble games after his quarantine ends, but that's not what's so concerning about this. We all want sports back more than anything, but with players still testing positive, we're not confident that any competition will be safe for anyone involved.
The Orlando bubble seems like a questionable choice now given that Florida is quickly becoming the new epicenter of the virus in the United States. The Orlando Pride recently had to pull out of the NWSL Challenge Cup because of an outbreak on their team, which does not bode well for other clubs on their way into the city.
Perhaps theone consolation is the Jokic is currently living in Serbia, his home country, and he recently posted photos of himself and tennis player Novak Djokovic together. Djokovic was also confirmed to have tested positive for the virus, so our fingers are crossed that this was an isolated incident.
We're wishing Jokic a speedy recovery, and we're praying that the NBA can figure out a way to manage this virus so that we won't have to endure another six months without basketball.