Russell Westbrook says he tested positive for the coronavirus

Sopan Deb, The New York Times

Posted at Jul 14 2020 03:43 AM | Updated as of Jul 14 2020 08:48 AM

In this file photo Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets dribbles downcourt during the first half of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on February 29, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer, Getty Images North America/AFP

Russell Westbrook, the Houston Rockets star and one of the most high-profile players in the NBA, said Monday in a social media post that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. 

He said his positive test came before the Rockets left for Orlando, Florida, where the NBA is attempting to restart its season.

“I’m currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared,” Westbrook said in his statement. He added: “Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up! #whynot.”

Westbrook and Houston’s other superstar guard, James Harden, did not travel with the team to the Walt Disney World campus in recent days. 

Luc Mbah a Moute, a veteran forward whom the Rockets signed earlier this month, also did not make the trip. Coach Mike D’Antoni did not specify why in comments to reporters over the weekend but said he expected them to be in Orlando shortly.

“These are things that people are dealing with,” D’Antoni said. “We’re not going to get into why not. They’re on their way.”

It is unclear when Westbrook will be able to join the Rockets or when his quarantine period began. Other players, like Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan of the Brooklyn Nets, are skipping the NBA restart entirely after they learned they had the coronavirus.