Howes: Presidential vacuum looms as UAW bargaining convention arrives

Amid NBA shutdown, Pistons reportedly advised to self-quarantine

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Philadelphia — The Pistons had just finished their game Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers when the news broke that the NBA suspended the season indefinitely, in the wake of a Utah Jazz player testing positive for coronavirus.

By the time Pistons head coach Dwane Casey got to his postgame interview session, he had just heard the news, and given the speed with which the situation has evolved, Casey said he supports the league’s decision to suspend the season.

Philadelphia 76ers' Shake Milton drives on Detroit Pistons' Langston Galloway  during the second quarter Wednesday. It will be the last Pistons game until further notice.

“It’s the prudent thing to do," he said. "With what went on in Utah, I don’t know all the information, but that shows you how fragile everything is.

“I haven’t talked to (the team) as a group, but I know they’re all concerned — and rightfully so. Everybody in our league should be concerned. Everybody in our country should be concerned.”

Later Wednesday night, the Pistons were advised to self-quarantine, according to a report by ESPN, because they played the Jazz at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Saturday. The Pistons also played in New York on Sunday before Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia. 

"Players from teams the Jazz have played within the past 10 days are being told to self-quarantine, sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst. Those teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors."

Wednesday's game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder was set to start and was abruptly postponed amid the concern. Jazz center Rudy Gobert reportedly was the player who tested positive.

The NBA was considering alternatives, like the increasingly popular ban on fans, but once a player tested positive, the next steps were necessary. It puts into perspective that sports, which had been a diversion, became the center of attention.

“It’s unprecedented,” Casey said. “It's always been that you could lean on sports to ease your nerves — but now, we're like everyone else.”

Now, the immediate future is uncertain.

For guard Langston Galloway, it’s a surreal situation, given that the Pistons just had close encounters with the Jazz.

“It’s in the back of our minds. We understand the space we’re in right now, knowing we just played them,” Galloway said. “Right now, I’m just taking it moment by moment, trying to figure out the NBA’s stance with everything that’s going on.

“As players, we’re being cautious and listening to the direction of what the league wants to do going forward and we continue to stay on protocol, not trying to do too much with the fans and monitor everyone on our team. It’s not just affecting us; it’s people around the world.” @detnewsRodBeard