Russell Westbrook Tested Positive For COVID-19

Rockets guard Russell Westbrook announced today (via Twitter) that he tested positive for the coronavirus prior to departing for the NBA’s campus in Florida.

“I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared,” Westbrook wrote in his statement.

Westbrook had been one of three Rockets players who had yet to report to the Walt Disney World campus, along with former MVP James Harden and recently-signed forward Luc Mbah a Moute. It’s unclear whether Harden’s and Mbah a Moute’s absences are coronavirus-related or whether their arrivals have been delayed for other reasons. Head coach Mike D’Antoni said on Sunday that he expected the missing players to report within a few days.

Teams are permitted to replace players who contract COVID-19 with a substitute player. However, replaced players are ineligible to return for the rest of the season. With Westbrook said to be feeling well, there’s no reason for the Rockets not to wait for him to recover — his statement and D’Antoni’s comments suggest the team will do just that.

Assuming Westbrook is cleared to head to Orlando and report to the Rockets within the next week or two, he should still have plenty of time to ramp up before the playoffs begin on August 18.

Acquired last July in a blockbuster trade with the Thunder, Westbrook has had a strong first season in Houston, averaging 27.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 7.0 APG in 53 games (35.9 MPG). He has been particularly effective as a slasher and play-maker since the Rockets introduced their “micro-ball” lineup and will be counted on to play a key role if the club is to make a deep postseason run.

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15 thoughts on “Russell Westbrook Tested Positive For COVID-19

  1. arc89

    Why the NBA is going forward on the regular season makes 0 sense. The positive test will start stacking up. just start the playoffs with one game in or out..

    • Afk711

      If they don’t start enforcing the bubble then yes. Its insane if they actually let players DM strippers and invite them to the hotel. How do you think Harden and Westbrook got covid??

      • washington_bonercats

        Where did you get that information? Sounds like a Facebook news source. Heard nothing about strippers or anyone frankly being invited to the hotel.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          He just made it up, typical Lakers fan. Westbrook tested positive last week, before the team left for Orlando. That’s why he stayed behind, he should join the team in a week or so. There’s no reason to think that Harden tested positive either. If Westbrook came out with the results of his test, why would Harden not follow suit if that was the case? Lakers fans are scared because they’re already down two key backcourt players, as they should Fear the Beard.

        • Afk711

          There were screenshots. Could be fake but Montrez Harrell follows her and that’s a weird person to try and frame. @Rockets fan, aint no one scared of you lol. Westbrook will be lucky to be back in time for the first round. No one fears the beard in the playoffs. Dude did a vanishing act last year even with the Warriors down KD

          • harden-westbrook-mvps

            Westbrook will be back long before the playoffs even begin, probably some time next week. Rondo will be lucky if he makes it back in time to keep his team from being eliminated. Good luck next month, you’re gonna need it.

  2. Sillivan

    My speculation
    Harden got virus in May due to weight loss
    Westbrook got it in June

    Both should be ready to play soon

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      If Harden got the virus almost two months ago, then why would that keep him from joining the team now? Makes no sense at all. His weight loss was deliberate, diet and exercise. Not that hard to understand, is it?

      People have criticized Harden relentlessly for his entire career, and he always proves them wrong. First he was a terrible defender 5-10 years ago, now he’s arguably the most improved defender in the NBA over the past 3 seasons. Then everyone got on him about the turnovers when in fact anyone who handles the ball as much as he does turns it over at almost the exact same rate.

      Then everyone complains about all the iso ball, so what? They gave Joe Johnson the nickname Iso Joe, which was a good thing. Harden is the best isolation player in the history of the sport, hands down. Who cares if people don’t like it. Then there’s the issue of him wearing out during the playoffs. He uses the time off to get in the best shape of his life, loses 15-20 pounds, so he will be able to play at an elite level deep into the playoffs. Hopefully well into September, then maybe even October if things go well.

      • El Don

        Oh boy! Keep on dreamin’! HOU is a one & done team! Out in the R1WC!
        Sad state of affairs as I am a big Harden fan… but team just sucks without Capela!

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Anyone who thinks the Rockets even have the slightest chance of getting knocked out in the first round will quickly have a change of heart when play resumes at the end of the month. We are talking about the greatest backcourt in NBA history averaging over 60 PPG. Plus Eric Gordon is finally 100% for the first time this season. At worst this team might lose in the 2nd round if they’re unlucky enough to face the Western favorite Clippers.

  3. Sillivan

    Harden need to say something if he is not able to fly to bubble by July 20

    He can’t just keep quiet

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      There are lots of other players who haven’t reported yet.

      He’ll likely join the team in a day or two, as will Mbah a Moute.

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