Jan 3, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) prepares to shoot a free throw against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

When Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, 2020, the NBA decided to shut down and the rest of America finally seemed to understand that this pandemic was something to be taken very seriously. Between now and then, the NBA created health and safety protocols for all the players and coaches who tested positive after him.

Almost two years later, Gobert has tested positive for COVID once more and entered those protocols, which either means that the circle is complete and the pandemic will be ending soon or time is a flat circle and we’re about to restart the whole thing over again.

At least, those were the prevailing jokes on social media when the news was announced on Twitter.

Gobert infamous rubbed a microphone at a press conference as a joke just days before he tested positive, becoming a poster child for just how important it was to protect yourself and others from the virus. Months later, Gobert discussed the incident and what he learned from it.

“It came from a good intention,” Gobert told ESPN in December 2020. “It was the first day that we found out that the media was not going to be able to interview us, right next to us, and, you know, we obviously didn’t know as much as we know now, and I only did that to try to liven the mood a little bit.

“It was, of course, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do it.”

Gobert said that he was still dealing with symptoms from COVID a few months later, including a lost sense of smell.

Gobert won’t be able to play for the Jazz on Friday when they take on the Toronto Raptors and it’s presumed that he’ll be out for about a week, assuming he tests negative. Gobert reportedly took two rapid tests on Wednesday when he sat out a game against Denver due to illness and both came back negative. However, a PCR test came back Thursday as positive.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.