After evaluating the video that surfaced, which involved James Harden partying at a strip club without a mask, the NBA have decided to impose a fine. The player has been fined $50,000 for breaching the league’s health and safety protocols.
The timeline for Harden’s return is still undecided despite the former MVP testing negative for coronavirus. The franchise are waiting for NBA’s decision on the period for the player’s quarantine.
Harden’s relationship with the Rockets is heading towards an ugly turn with the franchise unable to keep a check on the all-star player. He had already contracted the virus over the summer, which caused a delay in his presence in the NBA Bubble for the playoffs.
The off-season period has been very rough for the franchise. After losing to eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs, Rockets’ coach and general manager stepped down. Moreover, the palpable tension between Harden and Westbrook reached the limit with both players demanding a trade.
Westbrook wanted the franchise to change the culture of the team and stop the preferential treatment. He eventually got his wish granted after a trade with Washington Wizards.
Harden, on the other hand, has been a tougher nut to crack. He missed the majority of the Rockets’ training camp and was seen partying with a rapper. Newly appointed coach Stephen Silas has expressed his frustration over the issue while NBA legend Charles Barkley wants the team to get rid of Harden.
Harden might miss multiple games despite Rockets-Thunder postponement
Houston Rockets’ opening game of the season against Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed due to COVID precautions. Three players from Houston returned positive or inconclusive results according to the NBA Testing protocol and as a result, the side did not have the minimum number of players required to take the court.
The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center has been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety protocols.
Three Houston Rockets players have returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive for coronavirus under the NBA’s testing program. Following the contract tracing protocol, four other players are quarantined at this time. Additionally, James Harden is unavailable due to a violation of the Health and Safety Protocols. All other Rockets players were tested again today, and all returned negative results. Houston has one additional player who is unavailable due to injury.
As such, the Rockets do not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Apart from Harden’s recent partying activity, the Rockets fear a spread of the virus in their camp. Several players were sent home from practice with rookie KJ Martin testing positive. The rookie was in contact with John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Mason Jones.
The team are slated to face the Portland Trail Blazers next, but that matchup might be affected if things take a turn for the worse.