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Rockets’ COVID-19 frenzy ahead of season opener not linked to James Harden

Rockets, KJ Martin, DeMarcus Cousins, James Harden, John Wall

Several players of the Houston Rockets are set to miss their regular season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to COVID-19 contact tracing. However, this contact tracing isn’t related to Rockets All Star guard James Harden, who is also doubtful to play against the Thunder after video showing him at a strip club circulated on social media, prompting an NBA investigation.

Instead, the contact tracing is connected rookie KJ Martin, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Martin, according to the team’s injury report, is not with the team and is self-isolating.

Among the players who are set to miss Houston’s first game of the season are their notable offseason acquisitions in John Wall and Demarcus Cousins. While Wojnarowski reported that both Wall and Cousins tested negative for COVID-19, he added that there was a group of Rockets players getting haircuts at an apartment away from the team’s practice facility, which was why they were included in the team’s contact tracing.

Their Rockets teammate Ben McLemore is already self-isolating after resting positive for the coronavirus a few days ago, but another Houston player reportedly tested positive, which prompted the contact tracing on Wall, Cousins, and Martin.

Harden, who was reportedly late for the team’s arrival at the NBA Bubble because he tested positive for COVID-19, is also doubtful to play against Oklahoma City as the league investigates the video showing him at a strip club.

The 31-year old superstar, however, took to social media to clarify that he wasn’t at a strip club, but was at an event supporting and celebrating with a friend. However, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough for the 2018 MVP to get the green light from the league and suit up for the Rockets on Wednesday night.