The Houston Rockets tip off their season tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the team will likely be missing some key pieces for tonight’s game.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, several Rockets including John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, will miss tonight’s game vs. the Thunder due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
Several Houston Rockets, including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and possibly more, are expected to miss tonight's season opener vs. OKC due to coronavirus contact tracing, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 23, 2020
The report comes after videos surfaced on social media of James Harden attending a large indoor gathering Monday evening. As of now, attending these types of events are prohibited in the NBA’s rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the league.
According to ESPN’s Tim McMahon, the NBA is currently investigating the video circulating online and it could lead to not only a suspension for Harden, but it could prohibit players like Wall and Cousins from making their Rockets debuts.
Harden admitted that the video was valid on his Instagram story, but denied that he was attending a strip club, like many people insinuated on social media.
James Harden on Instagram pic.twitter.com/WnMtxpziUI— (@DreamShakeSBN) December 23, 2020
The team is already without Ben McLemore, who is self-isolating after coming into close contact with a positive COVID case, though it is not believed to be within the Rockets organization.
However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the team sent a group of players home today, including John Wall despite a negative COVID test, due to another positive test within the organization. Though it’s unsure if that person has contracted the virus or not.
As Rockets disclosed yesterday, Ben McLemore is in self-isolation and out for tonight's game vs. OKC. McLemore tested positive for the coronavirus days ago, sources said, and has been in isolation. He isn't the teammate whose positive test initiated contact tracing today on team. https://t.co/VCH4pAVm2e— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2020
There’s no telling how deep this rabbit hole goes, but it could prevent the Rockets from even playing tonight altogether.
The Dream Shake will continue to update this developing story.