NBA officially announced on Wednesday evening that Rockets PG James Harden would be fined $50,000 for violating NBA Health and Safety Protocols under pandemic.
Tonight’s scheduled Houston Rockets season opener at Toyota Center vs. the Thunder has been postponed in accordance with the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols. Information regarding the rescheduled date of the game will be made available at a later time.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 23, 2020
NBA has asked team and players are not currently allowed to visit bars or clubs and aren’t allowed to gather in groups of more than 15 people. The NBA said in a statement Wednesday that Rocket superstar Harden attended a private indoor party on Monday in violation of those rules.
As per reports, three or more players on the Rockets had COVID-19 test results that were “either positive or inconclusive,” and four other players were placed in quarantine through contact with the same players.
With lack of players unavailable due to virus contraction and another player out because of an injury, the team did not have enough players available to play against OKC.
A source told ESPN that Harden was not among the players to test positive for COVID-19.
James Harden clarified that the event in question was not at a strip club. By doing so, he admits violating the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, which prohibit players from going to bars, lounges or clubs or social events with more than 15 people. pic.twitter.com/K7GnJTxGBo
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 23, 2020
The athlete addressed the situation on his Instagram Story, as captured by ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon.
“One thing after another. I went to show love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she is becoming a boss and putting her people in a position of success and now it’s a problem,”Harden wrote, according to a screengrab shared by MacMahon.
“Everyday [sic] it’s something different,” the point guard added.
“No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can’t. The real always end on top.”
Rockets-Thunder game will be rescheduled once everything gets sorted out between teams and players.