The Houston Rockets are in Orlando in preparation for the NBA's return. However, one important player did not make the journey. Guard Russell Westbrook is at home and in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
Westbrook revealed the information with a post on Instagram. He posted a simple message confirming the news and pleading with his fans and followers to take the coronavirus seriously. Westbrook joined multiple NBA players to test positive, alongside Nikola Jokic, DeAndre Jordan, Malcolm Brogdon and Jabari Parker. Several other unnamed players have tested positive as the NBA works toward resuming the season.
"I tested positive for COVID-19 prior to my team's departure to Orlando," Westbrook wrote on Instagram. "I'm currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I'm cleared. Thank you all for the well wishes and continued support. Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up! #whynot."
When Westbrook announced that he had tested positive, fans reacted with a wide array of comments. Some said that this is the latest sign that the NBA season will not happen while others made some jokes. They said that the Rockets don't have to worry about the coronavirus spreading due to Westbrook "never passing."
One Twitter user, on the other hand, tweeted a photo of the Rockets star at a Black Lives Matter protest in Compton, California. Westbrook joined a massive group of people to protest police brutality, but he was not wearing a mask. "Russell Westbrook (rightly) telling people to wear a mask now. Look, I'm just saying..." the Twitter user wrote.
The players returned to facilities in late June in preparation for the upcoming season. Teams immediately began testing for the coronavirus, resulting in several positive tests. Westbrook is the 25th player to enter quarantine dating back to only June 23 — although several others tested positive in the weeks and months prior.
Brooklyn Nets star DeAndre Jordan also revealed in early July that he tested positive and would not travel to Orlando with his team. Unlike Westbrook, however, Jordan opted out of the season restart and joined four other teammates in the decision. Wilson Chandler, Nicolas Claxton, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant also opted out of the season for varying reasons. Chandler wanted to spend more time with his family, while Claxton had surgery. Irving and Durant are dealing with injuries, so they are unable to physically take part in the games.