So far, the NBA’s bubble has yet to turn up a positive coronavirus test. But getting to Orlando seems to be an obstacle for certain players.
On Monday morning, Houston Rockets superstar Russell Westbrook turned to twitter to announce that he has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently under quarantine.
“I tested positive for covid-19 prior to my teams departure to Orlando,” Westbrook announced. “I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared. Thank you for the well wishes and continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up! #whynot”
Westbrook, along with teammate James Harden, have both been absent from the Orlando bubble. Coach Mike D’Antoni skirted around the issue when speaking to the media.
"These are things that people are dealing with, we're not going to get in why, why not,” D’Antoni said. “They're on their way."
The Rockets coach thought both of his star players would arrive around mid-week. Whether that is still the case is unknown at this time.
The Sacramento Kings are slated to play the Rockets in their sixth game of the restart on August 9, which is still nearly a month away. If either Westbrook or Harden were to miss that contest, it would definitely change the odds for the contest.
At the time of the shutdown, Westbrook was averaging 27.5 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game. The nine-time All-Star and former league MVP is in his first season playing with the Rockets after eleven seasons in Oklahoma City.
There is no word on why Harden is absent from the bubble, but like Westbrook, he is a key to the Rockets success. The 2017-18 NBA MVP was leading the league in scoring at 34.4 points per game when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
If Westbrook or Harden miss substantial time during the restart, it would severely impact the Rockets chances of advancing deep into the playoffs. Either way, they are missing valuable practice time as the teams attempt to piece their squads back together on the fly in Orlando.
Houston is also waiting on the return of Luc Mbah a Moute, who was signed to replace Thabo Sefalosha. Sefalosha opted out of the restart.