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Report: Nikola Jokic Tests Positive for COVID-19

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The Denver Nuggets star’s return to the US will be delayed accordingly, early fallout of the NBA’s pre-season testing.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Across the league, NBA players are reporting for COVID-19 testing today. This is the first organized step towards a restart of the 2019-20 season, scheduled for July 30th.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN sports has begun to report on positive test results via Twitter. Speaking as Managing Editor of Blazer’s Edge, I will confess that this process makes me squeamish. These are not draft picks or free agent signings. This involves a serious virus, a health risk to the players involved, to everyone with whom they come in contact, and to surrounding communities. Hundreds of thousands of people, including our readers, have been impacted by COVID-19, either directly or via family members. Treating these disclosures in a, “Gee, did you hear?” fashion—or even talking about them solely in terms of basketball impact—seems crass.

We will share these reports because they are germane, also because they show the ubiquity of the virus. There’s also a possibility that results will cause the NBA to rethink their plans. We ask that you view them in that light and that the discussion in our comment section reflect the whole reality of these diagnoses, not just basketball reality.

The most prominent and specific report so far: Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has tested positive and his return to the United States has been delayed. He is expected to be cleared soon.

Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic has reported that two unnamed Phoenix Suns players have also tested positive for the virus.