Houston Rockets star James Harden has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after a video surfaced showing him not wearing a face covering at a club, in violation of league COVID-19 protocols.
NBA players are prohibited from going to bars, lounges or nightclubs and from participating in social gatherings of more than 15 people.
Harden posted a statement on Instagram on Wednesday denying he was at a strip club.
“One thing after another,” he wrote. “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.
“Everyday 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.”
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Harden was unavailable for his side’s season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was postponed on Wednesday because the Rockets could not field the minimum eight players.
Three Rockets players returned either positive or inconclusive coronavirus results, with another four needing to quarantine after contact tracing.