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Charles Barkley not on NBA on TNT set, being tested for coronavirus

The NBA on TNT had a notable absence on Thursday night as the team prepared to discuss the ramifications of the NBA’s decision to suspend play in the wake of the coronavirus.

Charles Barkley did not join his colleagues on set. Barkley instead phoned in to speak with Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith, saying he is feeling under the weather.

Barkley added he has implemented a self-quarantine, and he went to get tested for the coronavirus after being in New York earlier this week. The Hall of Fame forward has yet to receive his test results:

If the last few days have made anything clear, it is the NBA made the right decision.

Multiple players–both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz–have tested positive for the coronavirus, and there is a real possibility other league personnel has been impacted in recent days. Barkley is the latest to exercise caution, though, of course, it remains unknown whether he is actually infected or not.

The pandemic has impacted more than just the NBA. The MLB, NHL, MLS, and XFL all suspended league activities on Thursday, and the NCAA decided to cancel both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as all spring sports.

This is a pretty shocking turn of events. While it seemed the NBA was heading towards fan-free arenas during games, Gobert’s positive test forced league officials to reassess.

Aside from suspending the season, players and coaches from all teams have been ordered to remain in the market of the team.

Hopefully, the measures taken by the league will help limit the spread. In the meantime, the NBA community wishes Sir Charles the best.