Report: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins among Rockets to miss season opener under COVID protocols
The NBA's plan to keep its season without the boundaries of a bubble amid a pandemic is already being tested on the second day of the schedule.
A group of Houston Rockets will reportedly miss the team's season opener Wednesday night due to COVID-19 contact tracing, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported.
Several Houston Rockets, including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and possibly more, are expected to miss today's opener against OKC due to coronavirus contact tracing, the sources told @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
- Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 23, 2020
The missiles are scheduled to target the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. ET. Charania reported that John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins belong to this group and "possibly more".
The Rockets announced in their injury report on Tuesday evening that security guard Ben McLemore is in "self-isolation" and will not play in the opener. Adrian Wojnarowski reported that a positive test initiated contact tracing on Wednesday and the person will be retested.
Superstar James Harden is also in danger of missing the opener due to his own COVID-19-related protocol issues.
Wall, cousins could be Rockets vs. Miss Thunder
DeMarcus Cousins is said to miss the Rockets season opener. (Jevone Moore / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Wall and cousins were scheduled to make their regular season debuts in Houston Rockets uniforms. Wall was traded to Houston by the Washington Wizards who included Russell Westbrook in the deal. He missed the second half of the 2018/19 season and all of the final season due to a number of injuries.
Cousins missed all of last season with an ACL crack and didn't play a game on the Los Angeles Lakers roster. He signed freehand with the Rockets. The duo is a former teammate in Kentucky.
Harden's maskless video is under scrutiny by the NBA
The league and team review a social media video showing Harden at a so-called strip club - although Harden denies it - without a mask and with others nearby. When it comes to recent footage, Harden faces violations of the COVID-19 protocol that include a possible suspension.
Harden has requested an out of town deal with a team that may be fighting for a title.
The hardening situation and absence from contract tracking will cut the team's benchmark significantly depending on how many players are excluded. Houston won't play again until Saturday when it takes on the Portland Trail Blazers.
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