James Harden will remain in quarantine until Friday, which means the Houston Rockets star could be eligible to play Saturday when the team finally kicks off its season in Portland.
The Rockets were scheduled to play a game Wednesday against Oklahoma City, but the game was postponed due to various coronavirus-related issues. Among them was the fact that Harden was declared ineligible to play after the NBA determined that the 31-year-old guard had violated the league’s health and safety protocols.
Meanwhile, the league announced Thursday that of the 558 players who were tested for COVID-19 in the week beginning Dec. 16, there were two new confirmed positives.
However, the game between the Rockets and Thunder was the only game postponed so far this season.
Under NBA rules, a team needs to have a minimum of eight healthy players for a game, and the Rockets only had seven on Wednesday. The Houston squad is made up of 16 players, and nine of them were out: One due to injury; three had COVID-19 test results positive or inconclusive; four other players were quarantined as part of the protocols for the virus; and Harden was ineligible.
NBA medical personnel determined that Harden needed to serve a four-day quarantine, which began Tuesday, before he could return to training, games and other team activities. The league continues to review to decide if post-quarantine measures are necessary for other Rockets players.
The NBA fined Harden $ 50,000 on Wednesday for violating protocols. The league prohibits players and other personnel from attending social gatherings in closed spaces of 15 or more people or entering bars, nightclubs or other similar establishments.
A video of the star appeared on social networks, who appeared at a private party, full of people, without wearing a mask on Monday night.