The NBA Players Who Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus: Russel Westbrook, Kevin Durant and More

Published 07/01/2020, 6:47 PM EDT

Everything was well and good in the NBA until one of its players tested positive. This led the league to examine the matter which revealed the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus spreads like wildfire, sparing no one who doesn’t follow social distancing. 


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As soon as the league learned about the major threat posed by the pandemic, an immediate suspension came in place. The NBA shut down all its activities on March 11 and only recently announced its return on July 30

NBA players who tested positive for COVID-19


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The league suspended as soon as Rudy Gobert tested positive. However, several other NBA players found themselves contracting the virus. Though COVID-19 won’t have any drastic effect on their bodies due to their healthy lifestyle and loads of physical strength, there is still the worry of it spreading to others. 

As mentioned above, the virus does not spare anyone who fails to follow social distancing or does not follow the necessary precautionary measures. Thus, numerous NBA players have been on the receiving end when it comes to contracting the coronavirus. 

Here are a few of the athletes who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus during the NBA’s hiatus:

Rudy Gobert

The Utah Jazz big man was the first NBA player to test positive for the virus. Upon knowing Gobert’s results, the league hurriedly called a stop to all NBA action.

Donovan Mitchell

This is where the Jazz’s headache began. Shortly after Gobert was tested positive on March 11, his teammate Donovan Mitchell contracted the virus as well. Though we are still unsure if he got it from Gobert or anyone else, many controversial news surrounded the duo for the most of March and April.  

Christian Wood

Christian Wood, the Detriot Pistons forward also contracted the virus just a few days after Mitchell and Gobert. However, due to a powerful immune system, his body got rid of the virus within two weeks of it entering the body. 

Kevin Durant

The Brooklyn Nets superstar tested positive along with three other unnamed teammates when the organization conducted a test. Though the Nets did not reveal the identity of Durant, the two-time Finals MVP himself broke the news by urging people to stay careful. 

Marcus Smart

The Celtics’ 26-year-old player’s test came as a result of him being in contact with an infected person. As the results came out positive, the Boston Celtics released a statement briefing about the issue, and 11 days later, Shams Charania of The Athletic posted about Smart’s recovery. 

James Dolan

New York Knicks owner James Dolan was probably the first executive to have contracted the virus. The news broke out on March 28, with Dolan revealing that he had “little to no symptoms.” However, as per protocol, he was asked to go into self-quarantine and the Knicks announced the news via their twitter page. Dolan is now free of the virus and very much healthy. 

Michael Malone

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone contracted the virus early in March, but the team announced the news of him catching and recovering from the virus on June 15. Malone also jokingly said that he kicked the virus’ butt.

Nikola Jokic

The Serbian star apparently caught the virus while under quarantine in his hometown. Jokic also displayed no symptoms but he had to isolate himself as he was a carrier of COVID-19. A recent picture of Jokic virally swept the internet as the 25-year-old seems to have lost a lot of weight.

Malcolm Brogdon

As the Indiana Pacers began testing their players suspecting a possible coronavirus carrier, it turned out that their new addition Malcolm Brogdon had it. Brogdon gave a huge sigh of relief to his fans when he released a statement addressing his well being. 

Jabari Parker, Buddy Hield and Alex Len

The Sacramento Kings recently began testing all their players. As the test results came out, the organization found out that three of its players tested positive for the virus. Forward Jabari Parker, big man Alex Len, and 2020 three-point contest champion Buddy Hield are the Kings players with the virus.

Derrick Jones Jr.

Jones Jr. who won the 2020 Slam Dunk contest by a small margin, was tested positive when the Miami Heat conducted mandatory testing for all its players. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported the news and mentioned that Jones was asymptomatic. 

Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan

After four Nets players tested positive in March, two more from the team’s roster came out positive. Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan contracted the virus recently. After their diagnosis came out on June 29, their availability in joining the team to Orlando will come into question.

Russell Westbrook

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook did not travel with the rest of the team to the Orlando Bubble. On July 13th, the 31-year-old announced through his twitter account that he had contracted the coronavirus. “I tested positive for COVID-19 prior to my teams departure to Orlando. I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared. Thank you for the well wishes and continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!” Westbrook wrote on his Twitter account.

This is indeed terrible news for the Houston Rockets as they will be without one of their key-players for a week or so. Westbrook has to wait till he is cleared of the virus and then head to Orlando where he will be tested again before being allowed to enter the bubble.

Harrison Barnes

28-year-old Harrison Barnes tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his team’s departure to Orlando. Thus, the Sacramento Kings player has not yet made his arrival to the bubble and it has been more than two weeks since he contracted the virus. The 2015 NBA champion is expected to return with the team before their opening fixture against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Kings are confident of Barnes’ return and even have a spot on their roster left open. Head coach Luke Walton gave an update on how they plan to deal with their team’s small forward. “As long as Harrison wants to (rejoin the team), we’re not going to replace him.”


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Michael Beasley

Brooklyn Nets face more worries ahead of their campaign as one more player from their team tested positive for the coronavirus. Michael Beasley signed with the Nets just a month ago, but his hopes of making a return to the NBA have been deterred. Beasley traveled with the team to the bubble, but upon testing, the results confirmed that the 31-year-old had the virus inside his body. Thus, Beasley had to step out of the campus and isolate himself.


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It is unsure if he will be making a return. Shams Charania of ‘The Athletic,’ reported that Beasley’s roster spot is “up in the air,” and that he has returned home upon testing positive inside the bubble.




Arjun Athreya

2106 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.