James Harden fined $50K after alleged strip club visit played role in game postponement
The NBA has fined James Harden after a video was surfaced of allegedly visiting a strip club without a mask in violation of the NBA's COVID-19 protocols.
The NBA announced the decision on Wednesday night shortly after the Houston Rockets' season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed due to COVID-19 issues leaving the team without enough available players.
"Houston Rockets security guard James Harden has been fined $ 50,000 for violating the league's health and safety protocols, which include prohibiting indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar facilities, "said a statement from the league. ... "Harden broke these rules when he attended a private indoor party on Monday, December 21st."
Rockets too short to play the season opener
Harden was one of several Rockets players who couldn't play on Wednesday. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Kenyon Martin Jr., and Jae’Sean Tate have all reportedly been banned for COVID-19 contact tracing, which was unrelated to Harden's violation.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wall, Cousins and Martin met for haircuts in an apartment outside the team facilities.
A video has surfaced on social media apparently showing Harden visiting a strip club without a mask. (AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill, File)
Harden denies visiting the strip club
Harden admitted attending an "event" in an Instagram post that has since been deleted, but denied that it took place at a strip club.
"One after the other. I showed love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she's going to be boss and putting her people in the winning position, and now it's a problem, ”Harden wrote.
"Every day it's different. No matter how often people try to put my name under you, you can't. The real thing always ends at the top."
Harden begins the season in a dispute with the Rockets over reported trade requirements. A makeup date has not been set for the postponed Rockets Thunder game.
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