The Rockets’ season opener towards the Thunder on Wednesday evening has been postponed as a result of the workforce doesn’t have sufficient energetic gamers.
A minimum of 4 members of the roster are out due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocol whereas others have examined constructive for the coronavirus, in response to the league. Star James Harden is unavailable after violating NBA well being protocol; he was seen maskless at a club this previous week.
“Three Houston Rockets gamers have returned exams that have been both constructive or inconclusive for coronavirus beneath the NBA’s testing program,” wrote the NBA in an announcement. “Following the contact tracing protocol, 4 different gamers are quarantined right now. Moreover, James Harden is unavailable on account of a violation of the Well being and Security Protocols.
“All different Rockets gamers have been examined once more as we speak, and all returned unfavorable outcomes. Houston has one further participant who’s unavailable on account of damage. As such, the Rockets wouldn’t have the league-required eight obtainable gamers to proceed with tonight’s sport towards the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder.”
After the NBA declared James Harden “unavailable on account of violation of well being and security protocols,” it’s nonetheless unclear to each Harden and the Rockets how lengthy he’ll be unavailable or whether or not he’ll face league punishment, sources inform @ramonashelburne and me.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2020
Harden is reportedly sad in Houston, and his newest antic sends one other message concerning the lengths he could be keen to go to pressure his manner out.
The Rockets have new faces across the prolific scorer this yr, including John Wall and Christian Wooden whereas shedding Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington. They’re on the precipice of a painful rebuild that can be made tough by future picks despatched away in trades over the previous couple of seasons. Dealing Harden would possible require a full dedication to organizational change.
After calling off Wednesday’s contest, the NBA introduced a $50,000 effective of Harden for attending “a personal indoor celebration on Monday, Dec. 21.”
The NBA has but to announce when the Rockets vs. Thunder sport can be performed.