James Harden Fined $50,000 for Attending Party & Not Wearing a Mask, Rockets Season Opener Postponed
James Harden has been fined for violating the NBA's novel coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols after video surfaced of the Houston Rockets star attending an indoor party without a mask.
Harden, 31, was ruled "unavailable" for the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder that had been scheduled for Wednesday evening for violation of the league's health and safety protocols, the NBA said Wednesday in its announcement that the game would be postponed.
Players are not currently allowed to visit bars or clubs, and aren't allowed to gather in groups of more than 15 people. The NBA said in a statement Wednesday that Harden attended a private indoor party on Monday in violation of those rules and would be fined $50,000.
Three players on the Rockets had COVID-19 test results that were "either positive or inconclusive," and four other players were placed in quarantine through contact tracing. With those players out as well as Harden and another player benched because of an injury, the team did not have enough players available Wednesday to play the Thunder.
A source told ESPN that Harden was not among the players to test positive for COVID-19.
The athlete addressed the situation on his Instagram Story, as captured by ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon.
"One thing after another. I went to show love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she is becoming a boss and putting her people in position of success and now it's a problem," Harden wrote, according to a screengrab shared by MacMahon.
"Everyday [sic] it's something different," the point guard added. "No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can't. The real always end on top."
Harden's agent did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The NBA has not yet announced when the Rockets-Thunder game will be rescheduled.
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