First Postponement of the Season Comes During Opening Week
The scheduled Rockets-Thunder matchup slated for 8:00pm EST has been cancelled according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The game was postponed due to the Houston Rockets inability to dress at least eight players in time for tipoff. It was reported that Rockets star James Harden attended a friend’s event celebrating a promotion.
Harden was ruled unavailable “due to a violation of health and safety protocols” according to Shams Charania as said by the NBA.
Harden has been fined $50,000 for violating league protocols, and he will lose $284,000 in salary for each game he misses due to this violation, as reported by Wojnarowski. The Rockets and Harden are awaiting a decision by NBA medical staff which will determine how long Harden’s quarantine will be.
Charania also reports that three rockets players “have returned positive or inconclusive coronavirus tests,” with four others currently quarantined due to contact tracing.
All this news comes after a group of Rockets players which included rookie KJ Martin, John Wall, and DeMarcus Cousins got haircuts, away from NBA facilities in an apartment. Martin is currently self-isolating after one positive test and one negative test, while Wall and Cousins both tested negative for COVID-19 according to ESPN.
Ben McLemore is also listed out due to a positive COVID-19 test, who tested positive a couple days prior to the contract tracing of players who went to get a haircut according to Wojnarowski.