ESPN analyst Marc Spears questioned the timetable around Russell Westbrook joining the Houston Rockets, as we’ve yet to receive an official timeline.
When the Houston Rockets departed for Orlando, they were noticeably missing a few people. James Harden, Luc Mbah a Moute, Russell Westbrook, and Rockets assistant coach John Lucas were all left behind, without much explanation or reasoning.
The initial word from Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni was that Harden and Westbrook would be joining the team within three or four days, while Shams Charania of The Athletic painted a much darker picture, as he stated the pair would join the team “in the near future”. As we all know, Harden joined the team within a week after the Rockets arrived to the site of the NBA’s bubble, as he stirred up headlines with a mask he innocently donned, not realizing the meaning and significance of the garment.
But Westbrook has yet to join the team, as the 2016-17 MVP announced he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. It’s been reported that Westbrook has been feeling fine, but we’ve still not received an updated timetable on when to expect him in Orlando.
Spears questions Russell Westbrook’s return to Rockets
ESPN analyst Marc Spears questioned the situation with Westbrook’s return, stating that it’s still an unknown despite the fact that the Rockets have been in Orlando for nearly two weeks. Spears joined ABC 13’s David Nuno and Raheel Ramzanali, who hosts The Raheel Show, and stated the following.
“One of your major players, one of your stars isn’t there. Like when is he coming? Only his health knows, only God knows. So you hope they both get there sooner rather than later so they bring some normalcy to something that’s not normal.”
The Rockets are slated to begin the first of three scrimmages on July 24th, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Westbrook sits out all three scrimmages. The Rockets will certainly ease him back into action when he returns, but Westbrook will have to abide by the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol before any of that can happen.
The Houston Rockets superstar must first test negative at least twice before he’s even able to make the trip to Orlando, and he’ll be forced to self-quarantine for at least two days, while testing negative both days before he’s able to practice with the team. If the Houston Rockets are somehow forced to miss any games with Westbrook, it could spell doom for their long-term chances, as they went 6-5 without him during the 2019-20 season.
The five losses came against teams below .500, including the Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans (without Zion Williamson), Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, and Charlotte Hornets. The Rockets’ first game against the Dallas Mavericks is arguably the most important game on the schedule, as a loss could drop the Rockets to the seventh seed, which would draw a first-round matchup against the LA Clippers.
We haven’t received an update on when Westbrook will join the Houston Rockets, but Rockets fans all join Marc Spears in hoping The Brodie will return sooner rather than later.