Rockets star James Harden fined $50K for violating NBA’s COVID protocols

Kate Feldman, New York Daily News

James Harden’s trip to a “private indoor party” will cost him a cool $50,000, the NBA announced Wednesday.

The Rockets star violating the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols after video surfaced of him partying maskless at a club, which the league has banned during the pandemic.

The video, published by Black Sports Online, was allegedly filmed at a Christmas party in Houston.

The NBA has banned all players from going to bars, lounges or clubs and from participating in any social gatherings of more than 15 people.

Harden denied reports Wednesday that the video was taken at a strip club.

“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,” he wrote in an Instagram story.

“Everyday (sic) it’s something different. No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can’t. The real always end on top.”

Wednesday night’s Rockets-Thunder game was postponed after Houston was unable to field the eight required players due to contact tracing.

Three players had “either positive or inconclusive” for coronavirus and four other players have been quarantined through contact tracing, the league said.

Harden tested negative on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, a league source told ESPN.