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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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 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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