Houston Rockets star point guard Russell Westbrook announced on Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19.
“I tested positive for COVID-19 prior to my team’s departure to Orlando,” the nine-time All-Star said in a statement. “I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared. Thank you all for the well-wishes and continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!”
Westbrook is not with the team, which recently arrived in the NBA’s Orlando bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Once he is given a clean bill of health, he will make his way down to Florida.
Westbrook is one of the league’s most dynamic players, averaging 27.5 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists per game. This coming after two-straight years in which he averaged a triple-double over the entire course of those seasons.
Creating a ruthless dynamic duo in Houston alongside James Harden, the Rockets were expected to be a strong contender in a loaded Western Conference, though considerable underdogs against the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.
Their chances are diminished that much more if Westbrook remains sidelined.
Harden has also not reported to Orlando with the Rockets for undisclosed reasons, though head coach Mike D’Antoni remained hopeful that he’ll have his starts “in a few days.”
“It’ll be soon. It’s not going to be long,” he added (h/t Houston Chronicle). “You never know, but we think we’ll get them back in here by the middle of the week.”
The NBA is poised to begin on July 30 with a pair of matchups between the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans along with an all-LA showdown of Clippers vs. Lakers.