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James Harden fined $50K for violating NBA’s coronavirus protocols

Rockets star James Harden

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: James Harden and Lil Baby attend Lil Baby’s Ice Ball on December 3, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

WireImage

James Harden violated the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, the league determined.

His penalty?

NBA release:

Houston Rockets guard James Harden has been fined $50,000 for violating the league’s Health and Safety Protocols, which among other things prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations.
Harden violated these rules when he attended a private indoor party on Monday, Dec. 21.

In addition to Monday’s party, Harden was seen partying mask-less in Atlanta and Las Vegas as the Rockets opened training camp earlier this month.

Harden already had coronavirus over the summer. People who have recovered from coronavirus have some resistance to getting it again. There are reasonable arguments players who’ve previously had coronavirus should have lesser restrictions than players who haven’t.

However, the time to make that argument has probably passed. The players’ union agreed to these protocols, and it appears Harden did violate them. He’ll have to face the consequences.

Of course, Harden wants Houston to trade him. He also has a $41,254,920 salary this season. Will he follow the protocols going forward or live his life as he pleases, accepting whatever fines and disruption that brings?

The Rockets-Thunder game, originally scheduled for tonight, was postponed as Houston handles other coronavirus issues.