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Thunder’s Danilo Gallinari reflects on ‘the night that changed basketball forever’

Danilo Gallinari, Thunder, Rudy Gobert, Jazz

As a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Danilo Gallinari was in the stadium the moment the league found out that Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus and the NBA season was subsequently suspended.

Since his home country of Italy was already in the midst of battling COVID-19, the Thunder forward was the one who broke to his teammates the situation he thought they were in before Adam Silver could even confirm it.

Gallinari shared in The Players’ Tribune what happened during that day and his personal thoughts as everything was happening to the Thunder in the moment that night:

After a minute or so, I spoke up.

“Guys,” I said, “my guess is that this is something related to that virus. The coronavirus.”

As soon as I finished that sentence, a bunch of players started asking me questions. I was in the middle of the locker room just fielding questions from everybody.

Guys just wanted to get information. For the most part, I wouldn’t say that anyone was scared.

Me, though? I actually … was scared.

During that point, Italy was the most affected country outside of China. The Thunder veteran saw how the coronavirus altered life in his home country, and he was worried that it would also affect the United States.

It seems Gallo’s concern was warranted as the league is now considering the season’s cancellation. The United States now has the most reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and the healthcare system is struggling to keep things afloat.

Battling this coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult test throughout the world. However, social distancing and proper hygiene can significantly help in this fight. Gallinari and the Thunder are doing their best to help out, donating money, supplies and more to those in need of it during this global crisis.