Trail Blazers

James Harden likely to play vs. Portland after Houston's postponed season-opener

Trail Blazers

7:00p.m. PST Update on Dec 24:

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and potentially other players are "currently facing a seven-day quarantine per NBA contact tracing protocol," that's according to The Athletic's Shams Charania

UPDATE: James Harden will remain in quarantine until Friday, paving the way for him to play against Portland to open Houston's season on Saturday in Portland, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

The origianl article was as follows:

That did not take long. 

The Portland Trail Blazers have yet to tip off the 2020-21 regular season and already the schedule may be affected by COVID-19. 

The Houston Rockets could not field a team with the minimum eight players Thursday against Oklahoma City and the game was officially postponed as a result. Portland hosts Houston on Saturday, December 26th. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Houston's John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were reportedly sent home due to contact tracing after several Rockets met at an apartment for haircuts and one member of the team tested positive. Adrian Wojnarowski reported both players tested negative themselves. 

Meanwhile, James Harden was also deemed "unavailable due to violation of health and safety protocols" after a video surfaced on social media of him partying without a mask, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported.

 

"The video, which was published by Black Sports Online and has been circulating on social media, is purportedly from a Houston club's Christmas party held this week. The Rockets and the league office are attempting to verify that it is indeed a recent video, which would confirm that Harden violated the league's protocols."

The former MVP refuted claims he was at a strip club on his Instagram story. Regardless, attending an indoor gathering without a mask is against NBA COVID-19 protocol. 

Harden has reportedly requested a trade away from Houston and forwent showing up on time to training camp to party without a mask across the country while posting about it on social media instead. 

If the Rockets can field a team by Saturday remains to be seen. 

Portland opens the season hosting the Utah Jazz at the Moda Center on Wednesday, December 23rd at 7:00 p.m. PT here on NBC Sports Northwest, the official home of the Portland Trail Blazers.