Earlier this week, there were rumors two Houston Rockets superstars had not yet traveled to Orlando for the NBA bubble. Those rumors were proven true on Saturday.
James Harden and Russell Westbrook are not in the Orlando bubble, yet. Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed the rumors himself on Saturday afternoon.
It’s unclear why James Harden and Russell Westbrook opted not to travel with the team to Orlando. All players have arrived in the bubble as a team, as the Rockets did earlier this week. But both Harden and Westbrook were absent from the travel.
Rockets fans have no need to worry, though. Mike D’Antoni informed reporters both Harden and Westbrook will be joining the team in just a few days. Each will travel to the NBA’s Orlando bubble on his own.
D'Antoni confirmed that Westbrook and Harden are not there. "They'll be here in a couple of days, three or four days and we'll get going."
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 11, 2020
There’s still a bit of mystery surrounding this news. It’s unclear if this was a personal choice or COVID-19 related. Either way, it looks like James Harden and Russell Westbrook will be joining the team in just a few days. Harden made headlines earlier this spring, for what appears to be some impressive weight loss during this break in the season. We’ll see if it makes a difference when he does get to Orlando for the restart.
The Houston Rockets enter the bubble looking to make some noise this postseason. Harden and Westbrook have led the Rockets to 40-24 record, good for the No. 6 seed in the current Western Conference standings. Just four games separate the Rockets from the two-seed Clippers. They’ll be without reserve forward Thabo Sefolosha, who has opted to skip the restart.
If Houston is going to shock the world this postseason, Russell Westbrook and James Harden will have to be at their best. The Rockets resume their season on July 31st against the Dallas Mavericks.