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Harden fined $50,000, Rockets - OKC game postponed

James-Harden-chinese-jersey

Adam Silver and the NBA can't be surprised. After they "fined" James Harden with 6 mandatory negative tests, effectively giving him 6 days he didn't have to show up for training camp, Harden "thanked" the league by going to a strip club. The result?

You can find me in the club

After partying in Vegas and Atlanta without a mask, James Harden obviously didn't find the time to check out the league's COVID protocol. Whether it was a strip club or a night club is irrelevant. The protocol specifically prohibits players from going to bars, lounges, or clubs and from participating in social gatherings of more than 15 people. This was an indoor event, and Harden was not wearing a mask. 

“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. 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.”

James Harden, Instagram post (deleted)

Yet again, an NBA superstar ignores the facts and shares "his own truth." No one takes issue with the fact Harden went to "show love to my homegirl" or that the lady in question is "putting her people in position of success." Can someone let James Harden know we're in the midst of a pandemic and that there's a delay airborne virus going around? A virus people with no symptoms can carry and spread. This brings us to last night's game. 

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First game postponed

The game between the Thunder and the Rockets has been postponed because the Rockets didn't have the minimum required number of players for the game. That would be 8 players if you were wondering. What happened?

Three Rockets players have returned COVID tests that were either positive or inconclusive. Also, four other players are quarantined under the contact tracing protocol, and Chris Clemons (ruptured Achilles) was unavailable because of injury. James Harden was "unavailable due to a violation of the Health and Safety Protocol."

I want to be clear - there is no indication James Harden is responsible for all the positive COVID test and the players in contact tracing. That's exactly the point - we can't be sure where the virus is coming from so it is important to wear masks and reduce indoor socialization to a minimum. 

Consequences

James Harden was fined $50.000 and will lose 1/72 of his wage for the missed game. That's comes out at $572,985. He will not be suspended for any games, but it remains to be seen will he have to quarantine and if that will cause more missed games. As I see it, this wasn't enough. 

Everyone was expecting for Silver to slam Harden with a strong punishment to send a clear message to the rest of the league. It is my suspicion we'll hear a lot of front offices calling this reaction weak. 

The game will be played at an undetermined date in the future. This is exactly why only the first half of the schedule was released, and an All-Star week was planned despite the fact there will be no All-Star game. It gives the NBA time to catch up with lost games.

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