James Harden May Miss NBA Season Opener for Rockets Over Illicit Nightclub Visit

For every game Harden is forced to miss, he will forfeit a $284,517 check

James Harden May Miss NBA Season Opener for Rockets Over Illicit Strip Club Visit
James Harden of the Houston Rockets reacts during the fourth quarter of a game.
Getty Images

A video published by Black Sports Online that’s been circulating on social media may cost Rockets guard James Harden a spot in Houston’s starting lineup for the team’s season opener tonight and more than a quarter of a million dollars — at least.

The video, which the NBA and Rockets organization are attempting to verify, appears to show the 31-year-old superstar attending a Houston nightclub’s Christmas party earlier this week without wearing a mask.

In addition to Harden not following the rules by not wearing a mask, the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols prohibit players from going to bars, lounges or clubs and from participating in social gatherings of more than 15 people, according to ESPN.

So, if the video is in fact recent, Harden would be in clear violation of the league’s COVID-19 safety protocols and he would be subject to a warning, fine, and/or suspension. And, based on a post from Harden, it seems it is.

Due to the timing, Harden will likely be forced to sit out tonight’s game at the very least for safety reasons in the event he has coronavirus. For every game Harden is forced to miss, he will forfeit a $284,517 check, which is 1/145th of his salary.

The timing could not be worse for Harden, who reportedly had COVID-19 during the summer before the NBA’s restart in the Florida bubble, as he is attempting to force his way out of Houston via trade.

Obviously, if he is not on the floor and playing well, Harden’s value will be lowered which will make the offers the Rockets receive for him worse and the team less inclined to deal him.

A noted fan of strip clubs, Harden is not doing himself any favors by visiting the Canadian ballet if he truly wants to be dealt away from the Rockets.

The Rockets open the season against Oklahoma City at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

UPDATE: The NBA postponed Houston-OKC on Wednesday as the Rockets do not have enough available players to meet the league minimum to play.

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