What next for Danuel House and the Rockets?

When the week began, Danuel House Jr. enjoyed the account of his coach’s praise, but said he was fine with being overlooked. He even put it cleverly, gaining some attention for his comment about not getting attention.

“I feel I’m slept on heavily, if you ask me, with a pillow and a blanket,” House said on Monday. “My goal here is to hit the snooze button.”

Had he remained a relative unknown, he reasoned, he and the Rockets could have benefited from him sneaking up on an opponent.

Hours later, before even he likely knew it, his season was over.

He is not unknown now.

“Me being a G League guy,” he had said Monday afternoon, “I guess people don’t want to really talk about guys like us unless it’s a huge, huge story.”

Even if he did bring this dramatic turn on himself, with the NBA ruling he broke health and safety protocols when he “had a guest in his hotel room over multiple hours on September 8 who was not authorized to be on campus,” it is an unfortunate way for him to have gained that acclaim and to have damaged his team’s chances.

By now, after months in the bubble, the rules are well known. It is not the same as Bruno Caboclo leaving his room in the initial quarantine because he wanted seconds of that night’s meal. But there also could be a tendency for those on the campus to lower their guard, to become so accustomed to life in the bubble that they forget how stringent the rules were when they arrived.

There was a sense when the NBA began its investigation that there was a determination to make an example out of House. Would the league have been as unyielding had LeBron James or James Harden been involved rather than a player that could speak about his relative anonymity?

There seemed validity to that when the announcement was made that the investigation was concluded and more details were included. The NBA did not just say there was “a recent violation of campus health and safety protocols.” The league uncharacteristically added what the violation was, sending the message that this will not be tolerated.

That point would seem to have been made when the Rockets lost Games 3 and 4 without House while the league held its investigation, and the Rockets were instructed to call House out for “personal reasons.”

The Rockets might not have won those games had he played, but the series was tied, 1-1.

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On eve of elimination game vs. Lakers, Houston guard Danuel House ejected from the NBA bubble

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In the playoffs, you need all the help you can get.



a man holding a football ball: Houston Rockets’ Danuel House Jr. (4) defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


© Provided by LA Daily News
Houston Rockets’ Danuel House Jr. (4) defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

So on the eve of an elimination Game 5 against the Lakers, the Houston Rockets got unfortunate news: Danuel House, one of their key rotation players, was forced to leave the bubble after an NBA investigation concluded he had breached health protocols by inviting an unauthorized guest to his room.

The Rockets played the last two games, both losses, without House (11.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg in the playoffs) after the league launched an investigation into a Sept. 8 encounter with an unauthorized guest, reported by The Athletic to be a female subcontractor, in his room in the Grand Floridian Hotel for multiple hours. The Rockets are the only team occupying the hotel, which also is a quarantine site for some player guests.

House won’t play again for Houston this season, which now that the Rockets are down 3-1 is looking perilously short. Houston did not hold a media availability ahead of Saturday’s Game 5, tipping at 5 p.m. PDT.

It’s the first violation of bubble protocol that has resulted in the player having to leave. Richaun Holmes and Bruno Cabaclo (who is also on the Rockets) received additional quarantine after violating the required boundaries for food pick-up. The Clippers’ Lou Williams had to quarantine for additional time after it was revealed he visited an Atlanta strip club during an absence from the team for personal reasons.

House had played in nine games for the Rockets, starting four in place of Russell Westbrook. The Lakers have capitalized on the shortened rotation with their depth, even throwing rookie Talen Horton-Tucker at them in the last game. But Danny Green, a winner of two titles in San Antonio and Toronto, cautioned against complacency.

“Elimination games are always hard regardless of what round it is,”  he said. “They’re always hard. It’s the hardest game to win. A team has nothing to lose and they’re fighting for their lives.”

The Lakers are largely occupied off court with their families from when player guests were let into the bubble a week-and-a-half ago. Coach Frank Vogel said he’s not concerned about his team making the same mistake as House.

“Honestly, I don’t feel like our group has to have that talk,” Vogel said. “Our guys are really locked into the task at hand. Obviously the situation is a reminder, they’re seeing it on their phones. Obviously we don’t want to do that.”

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Rockets’ Danuel House Leaves N.B.A. Bubble After Violation

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The N.B.A. announced Friday that Danuel House Jr., a reserve forward for the Houston Rockets, had breached the league’s health and safety protocols by inviting an unauthorized guest to his hotel room and that he would be leaving the Walt Disney World campus, where the league has made a major investment to finish out its season inside its so-called bubble.

House did not play for the Rockets in Games 3 and 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Lakers this week as the league conducted its investigation. The N.B.A. concluded that the guest, who was not identified by the league, had spent “multiple hours” in House’s hotel room at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on Tuesday, in direct violation of league rules. The league has stringent policies about who can be on campus — or even interact with the players — as it seeks to insulate itself from the coronavirus pandemic.

The league said in a statement that “no evidence was found that other players or staff had contact with the guest or were involved in this incident” and that House “will not participate with the Rockets team in additional games this season.”

The Rockets trail the Lakers, 3-1, in their best-of-seven series, with Game 5 scheduled for Saturday night.

The unauthorized guest was a woman who had worked on campus several weeks ago as a temperature checker, according to a person who was briefed on the investigation but was not authorized to publicly discuss it. It was not clear how she had managed to gain access to the property, which has secure checkpoints around the perimeter. But House propped one of the hotel doors open for her, the person said.

It also was not immediately clear whether House had been forced to leave the bubble by either the N.B.A. or the Rockets. A spokeswoman for the Rockets declined to comment. In a 113-page rule book issued before the season resumed in July, the league said that a violation of protocol would be punishable by “a warning, fine, suspension and/or removal from the campus.”

House, 27, was an important role player for the Rockets coming off the bench. In his fourth N.B.A. season, he averaged a career-best 10.5 points a game. He went undrafted in 2016 after playing college basketball at Houston and Texas A&M, then bounced around the N.B.A. — including stops in the G League — before working his way into the Rockets’ rotation.

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Rockets’ Danuel House leaving NBA bubble after violating protocols

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Families are reuniting inside the NBA bubble. Watch these sweet moments unfold.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Houston Rockets forward-guard Danuel House Jr. will leave the NBA campus and not return after a league investigation found that House “had a guest in his hotel room over multiple hours on September 8 who was not authorized to be on campus,” violating restart health and safety protocols, the league said Friday in a news release.

There was no evidence that other players or staff had contact with the guest or were involved in the incident, the league said.

House missed Games 3 and 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers due to personal reasons and will miss Game 5 on Saturday with the Lakers up 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals. This is a loss for the Rockets, who counted on House providing depth in the series. He had 13 points in Game 2.

Danuel House Jr. is leaving the NBA bubble after breaking protocol. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

“It’s never a good time, like an injury, but the whole COVID thing is different, so you just deal with it,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said before Thursday’s loss to the Lakers. “We’ve got enough. You just go forward. Concentrate on what we’ve got, then try to get the job done.”

A woman entered the Rockets’ team hotel Monday night and left early Tuesday, according to two people familiar with the situation. The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

The league has strict guidelines on its campus to prevent COVID-19 from having a significant impact on the restart. With limited positive tests since players and staff arrived in early July, the league has maintained a safe environment.

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Did NBA’s Danuel House Bring Female Coronavirus Tester To His Room?

The Houston Rockets are searching for answers both on and off the court, one loss away from elimination and unaware if an important bench player will be available for Game 5 of their second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Danuel House has been ruled out of each of the last two games. The NBA is investigating whether House allowed a female coronavirus testing official into his hotel room, which would be a violation of protocols, Yahoo Sports first reported. 

House has reportedly denied the allegations, and the Rockets have felt blindsided by the league’s decision to keep him off the court, according to The Washington Post. 

“The NBA is treating [House] as guilty until proven innocent for safety reasons,” a person with knowledge of the situation told the Post. “They’re prioritizing their perception of safety over everything else. The NBPA feels its hands are tied. Any time [the union] talks about due process or presumption of guilt, [the NBA] immediately says, ‘Safety, safety, safety.’ There has to be some limit or balance.”

No player or coach has tested positive for the coronavirus since games restarted in the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, Florida on July 30. While a handful of players were forced to quarantine after violating protocols earlier this summer, a person close to House told the Post that the NBA is making an example out of the Rockets’ player.

“If it was a star player, there’s no way [the NBA] would handle it this way,” the person close to House with direct knowledge of the investigation said.

House went scoreless in Houston’s Game 1 victory over Los Angeles. He was effective in Game 2, posting 13 points and five rebounds in a 117-109 defeat.

The Lakers defeated the Rockets by 10 points in both Game 3 and Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. The two teams square off Saturday night with Houston needing a victory in order to keep its season alive. 

Arguably the Rockets’ most effective reserve this postseason, House is sixth on the team in both points (11.4) and minutes (31.0) per game. The small forward is third on Houston with 5.8 rebounds per contest. House has made 35.8% of his 53 three-point attempts in the playoffs.

“I think [House] is blossoming into one of the better players in the league,” Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said Monday. “He’s playing with a lot of energy, athletically, making great decisions on defense and offense. … There’s no reason why he’s not one of the better players in the league.”

 

 

The Rockets haven’t publicly blamed the investigation into House for their poor play, though Houston hasn’t been shy about trying to excuse recent playoff exits. 

After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the

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Rockets lose to Lakers as NBA investigates Danuel House

The Rockets who took the court for a 110-100 loss to the Lakers in Game 4 — a contest that was far less competitive than the final score indicated — left themselves befuddled with their poor showing in a series that Los Angeles now leads 3-1.

James Harden, who scored 21 points but shot just 2-11 from the field, said that it was a “good question” why Houston came out flat for three quarters, but stopped there before offering any depth. Russell Westbrook, who scored a team-high 25 points, said he “[didn’t] have an explanation” for why there was no “sense of urgency.” Coach Mike D’Antoni said only that there was a “lack of spirit,” minutes after loud shouting from inside Houston’s locker room could be heard in the arena’s hallway.

It’s no coincidence that the Rockets’ collapse against the Lakers has coincided with the NBA’s investigation of forward Danuel House for violating the bubble’s health and safety protocols, and center Tyson Chandler, who was initially suspected but later cleared.

House, a 27-year-old backup forward in his fourth season, did not play in Game 3 or Game 4, with the Rockets citing “personal reasons” for his first absence. While the NBA has not formally announced a ruling or even that it is investigating House, people with knowledge of the situation confirmed that House was sidelined for hosting an unauthorized guest at the Rockets’ team hotel. House has maintained his innocence, although NBA security investigators felt they had sufficient evidence to keep him out of a playoff series that was tied at one game apiece.

The Rockets were informed Tuesday — the day of their Game 3 loss to the Lakers — that Chandler and House were under investigation after the NBA discovered that a female subcontractor who worked in the bubble had passed security checkpoints and gained access to the Grand Floridian hotel on Monday night. Chandler was subsequently cleared to rejoin the team for Game 4; House was not, and he has remained confined to his hotel room this week as he awaits word from the league on his status.

There had been no indication as of Thursday night that House will cleared before Saturday’s Game 5, in which Houston faces elimination. Previous violators of the NBA’s quarantine protocol, including Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes and Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, have been required to remain quarantined for up to 10 days, which would sideline House for the duration of the series even if it went seven games.

People with knowledge of the situation, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the ongoing investigation, said that the Rockets were “blindsided” by the NBA’s decision and that there had been little direct communication between the league office and team officials and Houston had received no formal presentation of evidence. Instead, communication continues between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.

“The NBA is treating [House] as guilty until proven innocent for safety reasons,” said one person with

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Rockets ‘not optimistic’ NBA will have ruling on Danuel House probe before Game 4

The Rockets were “not optimistic” Thursday that the NBA would reach a final decision on its probe into whether forward Danuel House Jr. violated the health and safety protocols on the league’s Florida campus in time for Game 4, but House has continued to insist he did not break the rules being investigated, a person with knowledge of the situation said.



LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


© Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


The league has information that one of its contracted COVID-19 testing employees entered the Rockets’ Grand Floridian Hotel late night on Monday and has based its investigation of House on “door data” which showed House’s hotel room door opened sometime in those hours.

The woman, however, implicated Rockets center Tyson Chandler and another player and not House, the individual said. Chandler was cleared by the NBA investigation on Wednesday. The information on the other player was deemed not credible.

House has been “adamant” throughout the process that he was not involved in the violation, the person with information about the investigation said. There was no immediate indication beyond the “door data” that implicated House.

House and Chandler missed Game 3 of the Rockets’ series against the Lakers for what the Rockets, under the league’s direction, termed “personal matters.” House is listed as out for Game 4.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that the ongoing investigation could jeopardize House’s potential return to the Western Conference semifinals. Yahoo Sports reported that the investigation centers on allowing a female testing official into his hotel room.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, when asked on Wednesday if House could be available on Thursday, said, “We haven’t heard, yet.”

House, who has been the Rockets’ first substitute off the bench since Russell Westbrook returned from his injury in Game 5 of the first round series against the Thunder, had scored 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting in Game 2 and has averaged 11.4 points in the playoffs this season, making 43.5 percent of his shots.

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NFL Week 1 begins; NBA probes Danuel House violation

The NFL is back.

Thursday night, the league will kick off its season when the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans and about 16,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium.

NFL kicks off with Chiefs-Texans

Fans attending the first game of Patrick Mahomes’ and the Chiefs’ title defense will only be able to tailgate in the vicinity of their own vehicle before the 7:20 Central Time kickoff. They’ll park and enter in designated zones designed to limit the number of people who interact with each other. Fans will also only be able to access bathrooms and concessions in those zones — but yes, concession stands are open.

Fans in the suite level of Arrowhead Stadium must take a saliva test before the game, which the team sent to them. Inside the stadium, they’ll be required to wear their masks at all times except when eating or drinking.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Chiefs and Jaguars are the only two teams allowing fans into Week 1 games, and they’re both experiencing some trouble selling out even a diminished number of tickets for their games.

Danuel House in bubble limbo

Rockets forward Danuel House was scratched from Houston’s Game 3 loss to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday evening, but the team did not explain why. He and center Tyson Chandler missed the game for “personal reasons.”

It turns out House is under NBA investigation for a violation of league coronavirus safety rules. Yahoo Sports reports that he let a coronavirus testing official into his hotel room. The report specified that the official in question is female, but offered no further details.

House is currently in quarantine and his availability for the rest of the series, which the Rockets trail 2-1, is in question as the league investigates.

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Rockets’ Danuel House investigated for bubble protocol breach, report

Ben DuBose, Rockets Wire
Published 10:07 p.m. MT Sept. 9, 2020 | Updated 10:12 p.m. MT Sept. 9, 2020

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What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Mark Medina discusses how mental health and the stresses of being inside the NBA bubble has become an issue players are talking about as the playoffs press on.

USA TODAY

The “personal reasons” cited by the Houston Rockets for the absence of forward Danuel House Jr. in Tuesday’s Game 3 involve an alleged violation of the NBA’s campus “bubble” protocol, according to a report Wednesday night from ESPN.

Per ESPN, House has denied any wrongdoing, and the matter is currently being discussed between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. ESPN reported that House’s status for the remainder of the series against the Los Angeles Lakers was in jeopardy, pending the investigation. Due to COVID-19, any exposure to outside elements would require an extended self-quarantine period before that player would be allowed to rejoin his teammates and play in a game.

Prior to Game 3, Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said the team practiced Monday with House and with no knowledge that he would be unavailable. The team did not elaborate on the reason for his absence, other than to say it was not due to a positive COVID-19 test.

From the ESPN report:

House, the Rockets’ sixth man, has denied any violation on a matter that has the league probing House’s activity within the team hotel, sources said. … House did not leave the perimeter of the campus, sources said.

The NBPA has been talking to league officials on House’s behalf and trying to find a resolution to the issue. … The NBA is believed to be considering whether House could be subjected to a 10-day quarantine period for an alleged violation, sources said.

Danuel House Jr. is averaging 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds a game during the playoffs. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

At Wednesday’s practice, D’Antoni said the Rockets “haven’t heard yet” whether House would be available for Game 4 on Thursday, which seemed to signify that the decision would come from some other entity (such as the league office). Later in the day, House was officially listed as out, though that designation could be revised Thursday if he is cleared to play.

If he isn’t cleared, it would be a significant loss for the Rockets. With House unavailable off the bench, Jeff Green was the team’s only reserve to score during the Game 3 loss in which the Lakers bench outscored their Rockets counterparts 42-16.

In nine playoff games, House has averaged 11.4 points (35.8% on 3-pointers) and 5.8 rebounds in 31 minutes per game. He is among the most athletic and versatile options for the team’s switch-heavy defense.

In Sunday’s Game 2, the 27-year-old had 13 points and five rebounds and hit 3-of-7 from 3-point range.

The Rockets trail the second-round series 2-1, which makes Game 4 crucial. Historically, only 12 teams in NBA history have overcome a

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Rockets’ Danuel House being investigated for possible bubble violation

The NBA is investigating Rockets forward Danuel House Jr., for a potential violation of the league’s health and safety protocols on its Florida campus, putting his return to the Western Conference semifinals in jeopardy, ESPN reported Wednesday.



LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.


© Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.


With House listed as out of Thursday’s Game 4 for “personal reasons” after missing the Rockets’ Game 3 loss Tuesday to the Lakers, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association have been in talks about the issue.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Wednesday that the Rockets were uncertain if House would be able to play but did not indicate that the NBA was holding House out.

“We haven’t heard, yet,” D’Antoni said. He had said Tuesday that House’s absence was not related to COVID-19.

House had scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting in Game 2 and has averaged 11.4 points in the playoffs this season, making 43.5 percent of his shots. He had earned praise from D’Antoni on Monday for his play and spoke extensively about the post-season being a breakthrough for him.

House has played as the Rockets’ sixth man since Russell Westbrook returned from his quadriceps injury in Game 5 of the first-round series against the Thunder, replacing Westbrook midway through the first and third quarters. With House out, Austin Rivers checked in for Westbrook in the first quarter, Ben McLemore in the third quarter. Neither scored in Game 4.

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