Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19

By Ashley Boucher
March 19, 2020 11:00 PM

At least three more NBA players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Celtics shooting guard Marcus Smart announced on Twitter Thursday that he has tested positive for the respiratory virus, urging his fans and followers to practice social distancing to stall the spread.

“I was tested 5 days ago and the results came back tonight, which were positive,” the athlete wrote alongside a video. “I’ve been self-quarantined since the test, thank goodness. COVID-19 must be taken w the highest of seriousness. I know it’s a #1 priority for our nations health experts, & we must get more testing ASAP.”

Smart said that he has “had no symptoms” and that he feels “great.”

“But the younger generation in our country MUST self distance,” he added in another tweet. “This is not a joke. Not doing so is selfish. Together we can beat this, but we must beat it together by being apart for a short while. Much love!!”

Marcus Smart
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

“What’s up everyone,” Smart said in the brief video he shared along with the tweet. “So I just found out I tested positive for the coronavirus. I’m okay, I feel fine, I don’t feel any of the symptoms.”

“But I can’t stress enough practicing social distancing and really, you know, keeping yourself away from a large group of people,” he added. “And really washing your hands and help protect yourself and help protect others by protecting yourself. Thank you.”

RELATED: Kevin Durant and 3 Brooklyn Nets Teammates Test Positive for Coronavirus: ‘Everyone Be Careful’

Two Los Angeles Lakers players have also tested positive, the team said in a statement on Thursday. The statement did not disclose the names of the players who tested positive.

Both “are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician,” the statement said.

The two Lakers were exposed to the virus during their game against the Brooklyn Nets on March 10, according to the statement. The game was just one day before the NBA announced it was suspending the rest of the season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert became the first player to test positive for COVID-19.

Four Nets players have tested positive since then.

“All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines, closely monitor their health, consult with their personal physicians and maintain constant communication with the team,” said the team’s statement.

“The health and well-being of our players, our organization, our fans, and all those potentially impacted by this situation is paramount,” the statement concluded. “As always, we appreciate the support of our fans, family and friends, and wish everyone affected by this virus a speedy recovery.”

RELATED: Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell Gives Health Update from Coronavirus Quarantine, Rudy Gobert Donates $500K

The three players on Thursday join several other NBA players to test positive for the virus, including Kevin Durant and three of his teammates on the Nets. Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive, as well as Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons.

After purposefully touching reporters’ microphones just days before he tested positive, Gobert donated “more than $500,000” to support both the employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena and COVID-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the French health care system, the Jazz announced.

Other franchises, like the Portland Trail Blazers, have also announced donations to charities focused on aiding COVID-19 relief.

As of Thursday, there are at least 10,201 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 149 deaths from a coronavirus-related illness.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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