The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder will have to wait to make their 2020-21 season debuts, as Wednesday night’s game between the two teams has been postponed due to several considerations around COVID-19.
The video, which circulated on social media this week, shows a maskless Harden attending an event at a club with dozens of other people, although on Wednesday, Harden denied the footage was from a strip club.
Harden later deleted the clarification from his Instagram, but reports indicated the Rockets point guard believed he was following the NBA’s protocol, and that he told investigators he was partaking in a sitdown, celebratory meal.
However, as a result, Harden was ruled unavailable for Wednesday’s game and fined $50,000 by the league.
In addition, the Rockets were slated to be without several other players for their regular-season opener due to contact tracing, including John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, although that situation was unrelated to Harden’s activities.
Harden, who previously violated the NBA’s protocols at the beginning of training camp, reportedly contracted COVID-19 over the summer.
But his recovery does not exclude him from the league’s rules, which specifically prevent players from attending gatherings of 15 or more people.
Harden also made news this week when he reportedly got into an altercation with a rookie at practice, throwing a ball at his teammate.
And both Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe believe that behavior is an obvious ploy by Harden to try to force the Rockets’ hand.
This is a developing story.
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