The NBA is postponing the Houston Rockets’ season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to COVID-19 concerns.
Two days into the 2020-21 NBA season, the league is already being forced to postpone its first game due to concerns over the coronavirus.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA is postponing the Houston Rockets‘ season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, as the Rockets will not have the required minimum of eight eligible players necessary to play. The NBA announced that three Rockets players have returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive, and following the contact tracing protocol, four additional players are quarantining.
In addition to these absences, the NBA announced that it has ruled out Rockets star James Harden due to a violation of the league’s Health and Safety Protocols. With all these absences, plus another injured player sidelined, Houston does not have enough players for its season opener.
This is a bad start for James Harden and the Rockets
Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported by ESPN that John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins had both tested negative for coronavirus but were among a group of Rockets sent home for contact tracing after being in proximity to a teammate — rookie KJ Martin — during a haircut. Martin had registered a positive test and then a negative test, and was awaiting the results of a second test.
Ben McLemore had already been away from the team after testing positive, while Harden violated league protocols based on a video that had been circulating over the past few days of him at a strip club. The Beard denied that it was a strip club in an Instagram post, but the NBA has ultimately ruled that he was in violation of league protocols.
Now time will tell when the game will be rescheduled for, how long Harden and his teammates will be out and when the Rockets’ season will actually begin.