Former All-Stars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins returned to the Houston Rockets at Wednesday’s practice, which will allow them to finally make their 2020-21 season debuts on Thursday versus Sacramento.
They had hoped, of course, to be with the Rockets when the regular season began last week. However, the NBA league office subjected them to a seven-day quarantine after finding that they had been in close proximity to teammate KJ Martin Jr. during a haircut session. Martin, as it was later discovered, was positive for COVID-19 at the time.
That seven-day absence caused Wall and Cousins to miss Houston’s initial two games, both losses. But as of Wednesday, their quarantine was completed, and they’re back with the team moving forward.
Nonetheless, it clearly made for a frustrating ordeal, especially since each player repeatedly tested negative throughout the process. Here’s what both had to say about the subject after Wednesday’s practice.
I was mad. I ain’t gonna cap, I was hot. …
I didn’t do anything wrong. All I did was get a haircut in my apartment. One of my teammates tested positive the next day. The next four or five tests I had all came back negative.
It was me and three people getting a haircut. Like, I can’t get a haircut? I’d rather cut it in my apartment than be in a barbershop somewhere, where random people are coming in constantly. Even the barber tested negative. That was the frustrating thing… I was getting ready for shootaround and had just worked out, and they came out here and got me and said, ‘You’ve got to get off the court, you’ve got to go home for seven days of quarantine.’ I’m like, ‘What?’
.@JohnWall wasn’t happy he had to quarantine for 7 days & missed 1st 2 games: “I didn’t do anything wrong.All I did was get a hair cut in my apartment.1 of my teammates tested positive the next day.The next 4 or 5 tests I had all came back negative-That was the frustrating thing” pic.twitter.com/r0OsdZLMN1
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) December 30, 2020
DeMarcus Cousins, with initial sarcasm:
Oh, I was excited. I loved it. I had a blast at home. [laughs]
I think y’all saw my tweet, so we’ll leave it at that. …
It was tough. It’s tough in general, to be sitting around for seven days. No type of activity, just in quarantine. It’s tough for any person, but especially a professional athlete. Sitting at home for seven days straight, then jumping back into a full-speed practice or game… there’s not a lot of positive things on that side. Like I said [on Twitter], maneuver through the BS, and make the best of what you can.
DeMarcus Cousins on his reaction to the NBA's ruling: "I was excited, I loved it, I had a blast at home." (deadpan) …
"I think y'all saw my tweet, so I'll leave it at that." https://t.co/cJgB5qh149
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) December 30, 2020
With Wall and Cousins both expected to play, the Rockets return to action on Thursday night for their first home game of the 2020-21 regular season. Tipoff between the Rockets (0-2) and Kings (3-1) is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Central from Toyota Center, with the game televised on AT&T SportsNet Southwest throughout usual Houston markets.