League Postpones Rockets-Thunder Game

One day into the condensed 2020/21 NBA season, a game has already been postponed due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The NBA has officially postponed the Rockets‘ opening-night game against the Thunder because Houston doesn’t have the mandated minimum of eight players available, the league announced in a press release.

Three Rockets players have returned positive or inconclusive tests for COVID-19, per the NBA’s announcement. KJ Martin and Ben McLemore fall into that group — the third player is unknown.

As we relayed earlier today, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Jae’Sean Tate, and two-way player Mason Jones have been sent home to quarantine as a result of contact tracing protocol.

Additionally, Chris Clemons is unavailable due to a torn Achilles and All-Star Rockets guard James Harden violated health and safety protocols by recently visiting a Houston club. As a result, Houston only has seven players available.

The NBA’s press release notes that Harden has been ruled “unavailable due to a violation of Health and Safety Protocols.” The Rockets and Harden haven’t received clarity from the league on whether this is an official suspension and, if so, what its duration will be, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. The 31-year-old has thus far tested negative for the coronavirus Monday, Tuesday, and today.

[UPDATE: Harden fined $50K for protocol violation]

Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman tweets that the Thunder will now fly back to Oklahoma City. The club will then fly to Charlotte on Friday, ahead of a December 26 game against the Hornets. The status of the Rockets’ next scheduled game in Portland against the Trail Blazers, also on December 26, is now somewhat unclear.

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34 thoughts on “League Postpones Rockets-Thunder Game

  1. Hannibal8us

    For the negligence of multiple players coming in contact with someone, plus the Harden debacle they should have had to forfeit.

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      That’s the only way OKC could beat them under any circumstances.

      • afsooner02

        Not really….your star boy could throw another tantrum and refuse to play…..though he’s pretty much doing that already.

      • Hannibal8us

        Oh for sure, OKC would have problems beating some G-League teams. I live in Chicago and people I know we’re talking about how great the Bulls looked beating down OKC in the preseason. I was like you realize they’re playing against possibly a historically bad team, right?

        • K2rhere1

          Historically? How many postseasons has Chicago played in in the last 10 years. Wait until Billy screws up what he inherited. We’ll see how the Bulls fair in the next 71 games.

      • siggers84

        I called this yesterday to which you replied to me this wouldn’t happen and it’s just because I don’t like Houston

    • K2rhere1

      I hope they suspend him because that will cost him over $250,000.00. And I have said that if a player is found to be negligent and tests positive that their next game should be forfeited.

  2. I Beg To Differ

    Rockets need to trade Harden asap.
    He’s destroying his trade value with his recent antics.

    At this point taking a lesser deal just to rid yourself of this cancer might be the besg course possible for the organization as a whole.

    Let him be some other teams issue.

    • qbert1996

      Nope don’t give that crybaby what he wants. It sets a terrible example. Let him pout all he wants. He can be fined and suspended if he keeps this up by league

  3. sorayablue

    The NBA should have instituted a 20-player pool; much like MLB did this past season.

  4. WSnotAstros2017

    Harden is really a nuisance right now. Some of these other players getting a haircut or such. And the one player that came down with a positive test Martin Jr.

    It is sad the Rockets start season this way. Professional men. I feel for the young kid.

  5. buttholesurfer69

    Harden nonsense aside this isn’t a good omen for the season

    There’s more skin to skin contact in the NBA than MLB and NFL + rosters are smaller

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    So tell me, who in their right wants this nut for 41 mill a yr. And in two yrs at 34. He’s going to want another 45 mill a yr. I’m predicting this is Har en last max contract. Another Mello bouncing around just hoping to get mins. Goodbye Houston goodbye Har en.

  7. Dtownwarrior78

    This is already turning into a joke! Harden should be suspended indefinitely, but instead gets a ridiculous $50K fine. Yeah, that’ll show him! I am sure that harsh punishment will deter him from going clubbing again with no mask! Dude makes $50K per missed shot for crying out loud! Pssst…

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