NBA fines Houston Rockets star James Harden $50,000 for violating COVID-19 protocols

By Vincent Frank
Jan 9, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (6) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A video surfaced earlier this week that seemed to show Houston Rockets star James Harden parting in a strip club, in violation of the NBA COVID-19 protocols.

Harden has since denied that he was in fact at a strip club on Monday night. Rather, the embattled three-time reigning scoring champion indicated that he simply attended a friend’s birthday party.

Regardless of the exact details, James Harden did in fact break the NBA COVID-19 protocols. He’s now being disciplined by the Association for it.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Rockets, check out #OneMission rumors, rankings, and news here.

NBA fines Rockets guard James Harden $50,000 for violating COVID-19 protocols

To say that $50,000 is chump change for someone earning $42.78 million annually would be a vast understatement. However, the NBA is certainly making a statement with the 2020-21 season now ongoing.

This comes after the Rockets’ season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder slated for Wednesday evening was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within Houston’s locker room. For his part, James Harden has tested negative for COVID-19 twice this week.

Related: 2020-21 NBA schedule

NBA season and COVID-19

Unlike when the 2019-20 NBA season restarted inside a Walt Disney World bubble, teams are hosting games at their home venues this season. At least of a half-dozen teams plan to have a limited number of fans in attendance. It’s going to be trying for the NBA to complete the 72-game schedule without any difficulties as COVID-19 continues to spread around the United States unchecked.

Related: James Harden trade scenarios

James Harden drama

James Harden: NBA rumors: trade
Dec 17, 2020; Houston, TX, USA; James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets controls the ball during the second quarter of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on December 17, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

As for James Harden, this is the second time in a month that he has allegedly violated the NBA COVID-19 protocols. He was seen partying in Georgia and Las Vegas as the Rockets’ training camp got going earlier in December.

The backdrop here is obvious. James Harden has requested a trade from the Rockets as the situation in Houston is said to be toxic. He’s obviously not doing himself or the organization any favors right now.

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