UNDATED (AP) — Another NBA player has tested positive for the coronavirus. A person with direct knowledge of the situation says Pistons forward Christian Wood has contracted the virus and is feeling fine. The team confirmed it had a player who tested positive without revealing his name. Wood’s diagnosis was revealed one week after he played against the Utah Jazz, spending much of that night matched up with Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’). The NBA opted to suspend its season Wednesday, immediately after Gobert became the first league player to test positive. Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell also has tested positive. Wood was enjoying a breakout season, averaging career highs of 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds while starting 12 of 62 games. He’s been exception over his last 10 games, providing 24.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest. Meanwhile, Gobert has donated $500,000 to support health services in the U.S. and France and employees of the team impacted by the coronavirus. His donation was announced by the Jazz, who said some of the money will go to COVID 19-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the French health care system.
In Los Angeles, the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Staples Center, have joined together to set up a fund to provide financial help to all hourly arena workers impacted by the stoppage of games. The fund will help compensate for lost wages through the end of the NBA and NHL regular seasons. Payments will go to over 2,800 workers.
The United Center ownership and the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks say they will pay day-of-game employees through the end of their scheduled seasons. The NBA and NHL seasons have been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement attributed to Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, the teams say their employees “are family, and we will navigate this unprecedented situation together.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals have released relief pitcher Hunter Strickland in a series of moves by the reigning World Series champs. Strickland was expected to stabilize Washington’s bullpen after being acquired from Seattle at the July 31 trade deadline last season, but he recorded a 5.14 ERA in 21 innings over 24 appearances for the Nationals. He didn’t pitch for the Nats during the postseason. The Nationals also dropped David Hernandez, who surrendered five earned runs over 2 1/3 innings over four appearances this spring.
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his country still intends to host the Olympic Games in Tokyo as planned. He says the virus outbreak hasn’t reached a point in Japan that requires him to declare a national emergency like the United States and parts of Europe. Abe says Japan is continuing to “coordinate well” with the International Olympic Committee. President Donald Trump suggested this week that Japan should consider postponing the Olympics, which are scheduled to open July 24.