The Houston Rockets’ COVID-19 issues continue.
A Rockets’ staff member tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, which resulted in several players needing to quarantine for seven days due to contact tracing protocol.
The Rockets have since listed John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon as out for Saturday’s game due to “Health and Safety Protocols,” with Kenyon Martin Jr. and Ben McLemore also out with the designation “Not With Team - Self-Isolating
Cousins didn’t seem happy about the news on social media.
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) December 25, 2020
Rockets season opener already postponed
The Rockets’ original season opener was scheduled for Wednesday, though it was postponed over coronavirus concerns after Houston star James Harden and others violated the league’s protocols.
Video circulated on social media this week that showed Harden allegedly at a strip club without a mask. He denied that’s where he was, instead claiming he was briefly at a private event.
Either way, the league fined him $50,000 for violating their coronavirus protocols by attending a “private indoor party,” which led to his required quarantine. He is required to isolate until Friday. Commissioner Adam Silver said on ESPN on Thursday that Harden “in a way got lucky” and wasn’t suspended in part because “it’s Christmas” and was his first offense.
Harden wasn’t alone in breaking protocol. Seven other Houston players were unable to take the court for their scheduled opener on Wednesday.
A group of players — including Wall, Cousins and Martin — were reportedly at an apartment on Tuesday night getting haircuts. Three of those seven players returned either a positive or inconclusive test result, which forced all seven to quarantine.
With more players facing mandatory week-long quarantines, it’s unclear when the Rockets will actually get to take the court and kick off the season. Saturday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers is likely now at risk.
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