4
| Sports |

NBA Postpones Rockets Opener Tonight Due to COVID-19

James Harden broke COVID protocols and is part of the reason the NBA postponed their first game of the season.
James Harden broke COVID protocols and is part of the reason the NBA postponed their first game of the season.
Photo by Eric Sauseda
^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Well, that didn't take long. The first game of the NBA season lost to COVID-19 just happened to be the first Rockets game of the season against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center. The reason? The Rockets do not have enough players available.

James Harden was deemed unavailable due to a violation of the league's COVID protocols for starters. The disgruntled NBA guard was apparently out recently at a club with friends (he even took to Instagram to say it wasn't a strip club and later removed the post) and it was captured on video. Given this is the second violation he has had — the first delaying his return to training camp — there is no way to know how long this will keep him out. The NBA is not messing around with its protocols, so don't be surprised if Harden is suspended.

As for the other players, three players returned positive or inconclusive tests and four others are being forced to quarantine for contact tracing — they were near someone who tested positive.

It marks yet another chapter of the ongoing saga of the Houston Rockets as they fall ass backwards into the new season. The first game postponement is particularly disappointing given it was the first chance for fans to get a look at new and exciting players like John Wall and Christian Wood.

Since the Rockets are not on the slate of NBA Christmas games, we will all have to wait until Saturday when the Rockets visit Portland to face the Trailblazers, assuming they can cobble together enough players for that game.

Stay tuned.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.