James Harden may be able to play in Rockets’ next game after partying debacle

James Harden’s visit to the club might only end up costing him dollars, not games.

The disgruntled star should be cleared to play in time for the Rockets’ delayed season opener, ESPN reported. The league mandated that Harden quarantine and test negative for COVID-19 for four straight days, according to the report, which began on Tuesday and would make him available to play against the Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Harden would have missed the Rockets’ season opener that was originally scheduled for Wednesday against the Thunder, but the game was eventually postponed because the Rockets did not have enough players available due to contract tracing after rookie Kenyon Martin Jr. reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

After a preseason filled with drama over his trade request, Harden was fined $50,000 for violating the NBA’s coronavirus protocols when a leaked video showed him at a Christmas party without a mask on. Harden claimed he was not at a strip club, but tried to paint himself as the victim.

“One thing after another,” Harden wrote on Instagram. “I went to show love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she is becoming a boss and putting her people in position of success and now it’s a problem.

James Harden
James Harden
Getty Images

“Everyday it’s something different. No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can’t. The real always end on top. “

During an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Thursday, commissioner Adam Silver said the Rockets star wasn’t suspended partly because it was his first offense, but also because the commissioner was in the holiday spirit.

“The precedent is that discipline gets ratcheted up. It’s Christmas,” Silver said on the program. “It was a first offense.”

Silver also said the Rockets star “got lucky” because if Wednesday’s opener had been played as planned, Harden would have been docked pay for the game.

Harden, who reportedly had COVID-19 during the summer, believed he was complying with health and safety protocols, according to ESPN. But league rules prohibit players from attending bars, lounges or clubs, or social gatherings of more than 15 people.

Harden’s arrival to training camp was delayed after he was spotted partying in Atlanta and Las Vegas, though he claimed he was in those cities for training purposes.

New York Post

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