The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder game, scheduled for Wednesday night, has been postponed because the Rockets do not have the eight available players the league requires to continue the competition, the NBA said.
The NBA said three Rockets players returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive for the coronavirus under the NBA’s testing program. Additionally, four other players are currently being quarantined under the contact tracing log and Chris Clemons (broken Achilles) was unavailable due to an injury.
The league also said that Rockets star James Harden was unavailable on video “due to a health and safety protocol violation”. published by Black Sports Onlinethat had been floating around for the last few days performing maskless at a club in Houston.
The NBA made the announcement around 5:30 p.m. ET, with tip planned for 8 p.m. ET in Houston.
The contact tracing protocols prompted the Rockets to send three players home on Wednesday after rookie teammate Kenyon Martin Jr. returned a positive coronavirus test and had to be retested for confirmation and was waiting for those results, sources told ESPN.
John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Martin were among the Rockets players who gathered at a player’s apartment outside the team facility on Tuesday night. They got haircuts, sources told ESPN.
Wall and Cousins tested negative for the coronavirus Wednesday morning but are being quarantined along with Rockets newbie Jae’Sean Tate and two-way gamer Mason Jones due to contact tracing, sources told ESPN.
The NBA’s new contact tracing protocol gives the league the ability to make decisions about possible return schedules if players continue to test negative.
The Rockets had already removed one player, Ben McLemore, from the team for a few days with the coronavirus.
Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks, Tim Bontemps and Tim MacMahon from ESPN contributed to this report.