Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook on Monday announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. Westbrook, 31, said the positive test came before his team’s departure to Walt Disney World in Orlando for the resumed NBA season.
“I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared,” he said in a statement. “Thank you for the well wishes and your continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!”
The news comes just two weeks before the NBA season is scheduled to resume on July 30. The season was halted on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Twenty-two teams have convened in the so-called “bubble” to finish the 2019-2020 season. Westbrook’s teammate James Harden did not travel with the Rockets to Orlando, though the team has not revealed why.
The Rockets, who are fifth place in the Western Conference, face the Dallas Mavericks on the second day of the season restart.
Westbrook, a two time-scoring champion and former league MVP, is in his first season with the Rockets after spending 11 years with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is averaging 27.5 points per game, along with 8 rebounds and 7 assists this season.
Some players have voiced concerns about playing the resumed season as virus cases climb across the country. Among those sitting out is Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, who said that he “can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk.”
Twenty-five players have tested positive out of 351 since testing began on June 23, the league said in a statement on July 2. Anyone who has tested positive will remain in self-isolation until they “satisfy public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and have been cleared by a physician.”