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#pounditSunday, April 18, 2021

James Harden violated NBA protocols ahead of Rockets postponement

James Harden

The Houston Rockets’ opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder has been postponed, and James Harden had a part to play in that.

The NBA announced that the Rockets game has been postponed, as the team would not have been able to dress the league-required eight players in order to play. In a statement, the league said that three Rockets players have returned either positive or inconclusive COVID-19 tests. Four other players were forced to quarantine as a result of those tests. In addition, Harden is singled out for having violated the league’s health and safety protocols.

Harden’s violation is likely tied to what he says was a dinner he attended to celebrate a friend’s promotion. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported earlier Wednesday that Harden told league investigators he believed he had been in compliance with the protocols, but the NBA clearly did not see it that way.

We know the identity of a handful of players who would not have played had the game gone ahead. With eight players ineligible to play for various reasons, however, the NBA had no choice here. It’s not what they would have wanted on the second night of the NBA regular season.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

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