Following his pleas to cancel the NCAA tournament, NBA legend, Charles Barkley is now waiting to see if he has contracted coronavirus, explaining he is now under self-quarantine. It was announced Thursday evening Barkley fell ill and quarantined himself for 48 hours. The NBA on TNT analyst called into the series, explaining how he was taking effective measures for a possible coronavirus case.
"I spent the earlier part of the week in NYC, when I got to Atlanta yesterday I wasn't feeling well," Barkley told his co-hosts, per the New York Post. "I talked to a couple people at Turner and a couple of doctors, and they told me to self-quarantine for the next 48 hours. I started yesterday. This is my second day. I haven’t been feeling great and they didn’t want me taking any chances. I went and took the coronavirus test late this afternoon. I haven't got the results back yet."
When SportsCenter posted the news on Instagram, fans showed their support for "Sir Charles."
"I used to think the virus wasn't serious but now this is just getting out of control," one fan wrote, while another added, "If you're reading this Stay Safe."
In light of the pandemic concerns, Barkley suggesting the NCAA should cancel the men's and women's basketball tournaments is a significant response, as the former basketball star doesn't want more people risking their health.
"I'm gonna say this and I'm probably gonna get in trouble because I work for Turner and March Madness and CBS ... Turner Sports and CBS need to close down March Madness, man," he said on the ESPN show Get Up!
"Even if there's no fans in the stadium, you can't have these players breathing on each other for 2 weeks, even if they stay at a hotel, they're going to be at different cities around the country. I hate to say it and I probably shouldn't say it because I work for CBS, but I think we're gonna have to shut down March Madness until we know more."
Barkley went on to say the players would be upset with the decision, but health comes first.
"I know these kids want to play. Think about it, these kids are sweating, breathing, leaning on each other ... that's crazy! Even if you lose, you go back home, you don't know if you've got the virus for a week or two."
It looks like the NCAA listened to Barkley as the league canceled the men's and women's tournaments on Thursday afternoon. Barkley's announcement of being self-quarantined comes one day after the NBA also announced the suspension of the 2020 season.
Barkley played in the NBA from 1984-2000. In 1993, Barkley was named NBA MVP in his first season with the Phoenix Suns and was also named the 1991 NBA All-Star MVP as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. He was named to the All-Star team 11-times in his career.