Russell Westbrook has COVID-19.
The Houston Rockets’ push for a title has been derailed in a pretty significant fashion, as superstar Russell Westbrook, the team’s second-best player and emotional leader, has come down with a case of the coronavirus just a few weeks before the NBA will start their 2019-20 season back up.
Westbrook has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Westbrook can unfortunately add his name to a list of star NBA players who have contracted the virus, joining notable names like Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, and Nikola Jokic.
Russell Westbrook was dominating in 2019-20.
Westbrook, who is averaging 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in his first season as a Rocket after a decade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, confirmed on Twitter that he tested positive prior to the Rockets departing for the Orlando bubble.
Westbrook added that he will join his teammates in Orlando as soon as he is cleared before thanking the fans for their constant support.
Westbrook’s diagnosis could be a death blow to the Rockets if he doesn’t return to the bubble healthy in time for the revamped postseason. Not only does he run the offense on a good chunk of possessions while serving as one of the team’s best rebounders, but losing him could allow defenses to focus all of their energy towards stopping James Harden, which would have been impossible with Westbrook in the fold. Austin Rivers, who is averaging 8.5 points per game this season, stands out as a candidate that can take up Westbrook’s minutes at point guard, even if he will do so without Westbrook’s trademark athleticism and ability to attack the rim.
All on-court concerns, of course, are completely secondary. Considering Westbrook has three young children at home, getting a clean bill of health is of the utmost importance right now.