Former NBA Player Jason Collins Tests Positive for Coronavirus
By CBS Sports
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Point Foundation
Another member of the NBA has tested positive for the coronavirus -- this time a former player.
Longtime veteran Jason Collins announced Tuesday via Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing many of the symptoms. After learning of his diagnosis, Collins released the following statement:
"I tested positive for COVID19. I believe I got it while on a trip to NYC at the beginning of the month for the Brooklyn Nets Pride night game. I had my first symptoms on Wed Mar 11. Terrible headache. A few days later I had a fever and then the cough. On Saturday I went to the ER and got tested and spoke with some docs about the tightness in my chest. I'm home now resting but still experiencing some tightness and might go back to the hospital later today. On Saturday my lungs were clear, which obviously is good. Please stay safe and continue to social distance. Thank you to every single health care worker out there that are our true heroes on the frontline. Please let's try to flatten the curve & not overwhelm our health care system. Thank you for all the well wishes. Deeply grateful for the . Also battling COVID-19 is my partner, Brunson Green He's doing better today, but we're still not out of the woods yet. We're continuing to self isolate in our home."
On Saturday I went to the ER and got tested and spoke with some docs about the tightness in my chest. I’m home now resting but still experiencing some tightness and might go back to the hospital later today. On Saturday my lungs were clear, which obviously is good.
Thank you for all the well wishes. Deeply grateful for the ❤️. Also battling #COVID19 is my partner, @BrunsonGreen. He’s doing better today, but we’re still not out of the woods yet. We’re continuing to self isolate in our home.
In addition to Collins, 14 known NBA members have tested positive for COVID-19, including stars like Kevin Durant and Rudy Gobert. The Utah Jazz big man was the first current player to test positive, and the 2019-20 campaign was suspended indefinitely as a result. Though there is no tentative timetable for a potential return to action for the league at this point in time, commissioner Adam Silver remains optimistic that the season can still be salvaged, to an extent.
"I'm optimistic by nature, and I want to believe we're gonna be able to salvage at least some portion of the season," Silver said. "Again, I'd say we've done new and creative things in the past, we experimented with this year's All-Star Game with a unique ending, we've talked about play-in tournaments for going into the playoffs, there may be other things we can do with the format. I know I've heard from a lot of our players. It's been less than a week, they're going stir crazy, they want to play, they want to compete.. We're gonna try by every means we can to play basketball again, but the safety and health of our players and fans is first."
While a return to basketball this season would be great, it's obviously secondary to the health and safety of the teams, players and fans. The NBA will certainly explore all possible avenues when it comes to getting back on the floor, but the situation is fluid, and something that the league can't control. Like everyone else, they just have to hope that the virus can be curbed in a timely manner.
Collins was drafted 18th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft, and he retired in 2014 with career averages of 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds over 735 career regular-season games. He also appeared in 95 playoff games and suited up for the Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics. and Washington Wizards over the course of his career. Collins was the first openly gay athlete to play in any of the four major sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL).
This story was originally published on CBSSports.com on March 24.