Wednesday night was supposed to be opening night in the NBA for 26 of the 30 teams in the league — the other four teams (Golden State, Brooklyn, and both Los Angeles teams), kicked things off on Tuesday.

Instead of the NBA starting the season with little disruption, an opening-night contest was postponed between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The reason for the postponement is the Rockets not having the league-required eight available players needed to proceed with the contest, the NBA announced.

“Three Houston Rockets players have returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive for coronavirus under the NBA’s testing program,” the NBA said in a statement. “Following the contact tracing protocol, four other players are quarantined at this time. Additionally, James Harden is unavailable due to a violation of the Health and Safety Protocols. All other Rockets players were tested again today, and all returned negative results. Houston has one additional player who is unavailable due to injury.”

Here are the details available:

According to a report from ESPN, rookie Kenyon Martin Jr. returned a positive coronavirus test on Wednesday. Additionally, according to the report, multiple Rockets players gathered on Tuesday at a player’s apartment to have haircuts. Contact tracing from both Martin and the gathering led to John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins rookie Jae’Sean Tate and two-way player Mason Jones being quarantined after testing negative for COVID-19.

Harden, who was partying with rapper Lil Baby in the offseason and missed part of Rockets training camp, was ruled unavailable for Wednesday’s game after the league reviewed video that surfaced of him again partying maskless at a Houston club this week.

The league also fined Harden $50,000 for the health and safety rules violation.

All of this comes as tensions have been rising in Houston with Harden reportedly wanting to be traded.

“I think everybody anticipated some bumps along the way,” Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said of the Rockets-Thunder game being postponed. “We’ll just continue to try to follow the protocols and put ourselves in the best position. I think the overwhelming majority of players are doing the same thing.”

Snyder also noted that there will undoubtedly be mistakes along the way and that teams are trying to prepare the best they can for those situations. He is right that most players are trying to do the right thing and are staying vigilant in their efforts to keep themselves and others on their team safe.

It is completely possible that when the players on the Rockets gathered to get haircuts that they unknowingly violated league rules and put themselves at risk, but not in a negligible way.

What we are seeing happen with Harden is not a sequence of accidental mistakes or ignorant accidents. There’s no way that Harden had no idea that he was violating league rules when he was at a club without a mask.

Harden’s actions are not only a stain and distraction for the Rockets, but for the NBA. He is one of the league’s biggest names, one of the most recognizable players and his actions not only contributed to the postponement of a season-opening game, but also jeopardizes the health and safety of his teammates, his teammates’ families and anyone else he or they come into contact with.

As the superstar of that team, someone who is supposed to be a leader, it’s no wonder that a group of players saw a gathering for haircuts as acceptable. The example they are getting from the veteran star of the team is at best questionable and at worst an insult to every person who is trying to make this NBA season a success.

“It was a definite sense of security in the bubble because no one was going in or out,” Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said. “The reality that COVID can affect any one player on a team and then spread through a team and then they have to isolate and quarantine. I think that reality is going to hit every other team in the league. The precautions need to be adhered to.”

The Rockets are scheduled to play the Blazers on Saturday.

The NBA is trying to pull off something incredibly difficult in going forward with the 2020-21 season and it’s going to take every single player, every staff member traveling with the team, every coach and the members of all of their families in order for this to work.

The fact that Harden, one of the NBA’s biggest stars, seems to not care whether any of this works out is a less than ideal way to begin the season.