NBA rumors: League investigating James Harden strip club incident

April 30, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the basketball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first quarter in game two of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 115-109. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We already know about all of the NBA rumors surrounding a potential James Harden trade from the Houston Rockets. The star guard has demanded a trade from the team and is apparently doing everything possible to make sure it comes to fruition here soon.

That included James Harden violating NBA’s COVID-19 protocols once training camp got going earlier this month. Now, with the Rockets set to open their season Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, James Harden could be in more hot water with the NBA and his team.

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NBA rumors: League investigating James Harden strip club incident

NBA rumors: James Harden strip club
Apr 3, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dances on the bench prior to the game against the Washington Wizards at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

A video published by Black Sports Online shows Harden apparently partying at a Houston strip club this week. Said video shows no social distancing and Harden without a mask on. That would obviously be in violation of the NBA COVID-19 protocols.

“The Houston Rockets and the NBA are reviewing video of James Harden partying maskless at a club to determine whether he violated the league’s COVID-19 protocols, putting the perennial All-Star’s availability for Houston’s season opener Wednesday night in question,” Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported Wednesday.

This comes on the heels of DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall being out for Wednesday’s opener due to being in close contact with rookie KJ Martin, who tested positive for COVID-19 recently.

NBA rumors: James Harden responds to strip club allegations

As for James Harden, he’s tested negative for COVID-19 twice this week and could still play Wednesday against the Thunder. Harden also responded to allegations that he was at a strip club this week.

“One thing after another. 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,” Harden said in the post. “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.”

Regardless of Harden’s response to said allegations, the NBA and the Rockets are looking into the situation. There’s a chance that he could be suspended.

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Dec 16, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) celebrates after scoring during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

If that comes via the Rockets, it would be yet another example of drama between Harden and the organization. NBA rumors suggest that the culture in Houston right now is toxic. Meanwhile, there’s a growing rift between Harden and other players on the Rockets roster.

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

All of this comes with Harden wanting a trade from the Rockets and potentially interested teams dropping out of the race for the former NBA MVP. If the Rockets are to trade James Harden, they want to expedite matters. Given this most-recent news, it stands to reason that new general manager Rafael Stone will continue to seek out suitors for one of the NBA’s most-talented players.

Stay tuned.