The Houston Rockets will make their official debut this next morning, if there are no last-minute changes, in the game that faces the Portland Trail Blazers (4:00 am, peninsular time). They will do it with James Harden, who has tested negative for COVID-19, after his excursion to a strip club.
Of course, the Rockets will play low as they have six players removed from group discipline due to a coronavirus outbreak detected after a private meeting to cut their hair.
The two positives in Houston are Ben McLemore and rookie Kenyon Martin Jr. Then there are DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Eric Gordon, and Mason Jones, all locked up at home due to sanitary protocol that forces close contacts of a positive to quarantine in House.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver commented on Harden’s $ 50,000 penalty with some bitterness, citing the relatively low figure for being around Christmas time. “It is Christmas and it was the first offense. The $ 50,000 is the limit of my authority according to the CBA, ”Silver said in statements to ESPN. “He was lucky because if the match had been played, he would also have lost the proportional part of his salary. We have just started with this protocol and it seemed fair to us, and it is Christmas ”, he remarked.
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