NBA News 2020-21: The Houston Rockets are not sure when James Harden will be allowed to practice as they await a decision from the NBA about COVID-19 protocols following the superstar’s holdout from training camp.
James Harden arrived at the Toyota Center in Houston yesterday. He also followed all NBA Protocols and is back for practice. Houston Rockets’ coach Stephen Silas has given some updates.
“We’re just trying to iron all that stuff out right now,” said first-year Rockets coach Stephen Silas, who also noted that free-agent signee Sterling Brown had yet to practice with the Rockets due to COVID-19 protocols. “I wish I had a good answer for you. I wish I had a better answer for you when it comes to all that, but I don’t.”
The NBA needed players to test negative for the coronavirus for three continuous days before using the team amenities for private workouts before training camp.
The players are also obliged to separate aside from testing and workouts at the team facility and fundamental activities such as grocery shopping.
Rockets star James Harden will need to register six negative coronavirus tests before returning to group workouts according to NBA protocols, source tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Harden returned to Houston for testing this week after being out of town.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 9, 2020
NBA News 2020-21: The current situation between the Houston Rockets and James Harden
Stephen Silas on when they can implement James Harden once he’s cleared: “there isn’t a clear plan as far as what that looks like just because it’s outside of the way that we were doing it with the original group.”
However, Harden opted to work out on his own at the University of Houston and attended rapper Lil Baby’s birthday party in Atlanta over the weekend and then spent a few nights in Las Vegas.
Harden did not wear a facemask at the birthday party or in Las Vegas nightclubs, social events that violated the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
“It’s really hard to kind of put a finger on what the protocol looks like at this point just because of how the timing is,” Silas said. “It’s not the same timing that everybody else had, right? As far as when he can start doing individual workouts, when he can join the team, when he can practice, we’re working with the NBA trying to figure out exactly when that is.”
During his holdout, Harden and Silas did not have any communication. They had a brief interaction Wednesday, according to Silas.
“I said hello to him,” Silas said.
NBA Schedule: The tentative NBA schedule calendar for the 2020-21 season:
• Dec. 11-19, 2020: Preseason games
• Dec. 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: First Half of regular season
• March 5-10, 2021: All-Star break
• March 11 – May 16, 2021: Second Half of regular season
• May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament
• May 22 – July 22, 2021: 2021 NBA Playoffs