NBA: Rockets-Thunder postponed after positive Covid-19 tests

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The Houston Rockets’ season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder has been postponed because the Rockets are unable to field enough players.

Three Rockets players returned either positive or inconclusive coronavirus results, with another four needing to quarantine after contact tracing.

Rockets star James Harden is unavailable because of a violation of the NBA’s coronavirus protocols.

He has been fined $50,000 (£36,820) by the NBA.

All other Rockets players were retested today, and returned negative results.

One player is also injured meaning they do not have the league-required eight available players to play the game at the Toyota Center in Houston.

ESPN reported that the Rockets and NBA are investigating a video that appears to show 2018 Most Valuable Player Harden not wearing a face covering at a club.

Harden responded in an Instagram story in which he denied he was attending a strip club.

“I went to show love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she is becoming a boss putting her people in position of success and now it’s a problem,” he said.

“Everyday it’s something different. No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can’t. The real always end on top.”

In a statement, the NBA said Harden violated the league’s rules by attending a private indoor party on Monday, 21 December.

The league’s rules prohibit “attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments,”

Wednesday is the second night of the NBA season, after wins for LA Clippers and Brooklyn Nets against LA Lakers and Golden State Warriors on the opening night.

BBC

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