NBA superstar James Harden not ready for league to return - 'I want it to be safe'

Houston Rockets superstar James Harden isn't quite ready to resume the NBA season just yet.

Houston Rockets gaurd James Harden. Source: Getty

The competition's Most Valuable Player in 2019 wants to make sure the coast is clear and the coronavirus pandemic in the US has "calmed down all the way to a minimum" before he returns to stepping around defenders in a resumed NBA season.

"I want it to be safe," Harden told CNBC's Jabari Young. "I want it to be entertaining for the fans and players to get out there and compete.

"As soon as we can get this ramped up, I'm ready to go. I feel like the majority of the players feel the same way."

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The NBA was midway through one of its most entertaining seasons in a while before Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11.

The NBA subsequently suspended its season indefinitely, then a rash of league players and personnel tested positive for the coronavirus in the ensuing weeks, including several Nets players, Knicks owner James Dolan and Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell.

The Players Association informally polled its members on whether they wanted to resume this NBA season despite a hiatus from basketball that has lasted more than 60 days. The overwhelming majority voted yes.

A good chunk of the NBA's star-power contingent - including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Harden's teammate Russell Westbrook, and others - also hopped on a conference call to establish "a united front" on resuming the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Harden's Rockets entered the NBA's coronavirus hiatus tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for sixth place in the Western Conference.