Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. is currently under investigation by the NBA for committing an infraction while in the bubble, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. House allegedly allowed a woman COVID-19 testing official into his hotel room, and now his status for the remainder of the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers is up in the air.
Along with teammate Tyson Chandler, House was a late scratch from Houston’s Game 3 lineup for “personal reasons.” He remains out for Game 4 of that series, and opposing teams continue to monitor the situation in order to see how the league reacts to House’s potential infraction.
Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic have formulated a detailed account of what transpired regarding House and the woman:
A woman entered the Rockets’ team hotel on Monday night, passing multiple security checkpoints before being flagged for her entry, sources said. She exited the hotel in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and the league cited early data points that implicated two members of the Rockets, House and Tyson Chandler, sources said. When the woman was questioned by NBA security, she did not implicate House’s name and it is uncertain whether she remains on campus, sources said. She claimed to have contact with Chandler and another player, not named House, according to sources.
According to sources, the Rockets’ entire team had to enter a quarantine period on Tuesday due to the potential exposure. Those sources said there appears to be no video connecting House and the woman; only the flagging of her entering and leaving the hotel, and the possibility of a door opening and closing to match those timelines. The NBA has informed involved parties that it has circumstantial evidence implicating House.
House has reportedly “vehemently” denied the accusations with the testing official to the league. The Rockets have also supported House and he’s been quarantined throughout this whole process.
Charania and Amick also report that the woman isn’t believed to be an NBA employee.
In regards to Game 4, House is listed as out on the injury report while Chandler isn’t listed. The NBA’s investigation has cleared Chandler and it’s focusing primarily on House.
“This is done out of precaution and making sure the NBA’s campus standards are upheld,” a source told The Athletic regarding the situation.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni commented on the situation prior to Game 4, emphasizing the importance of making the most of what the team still has.
“I don’t know. The investigation is going on, so when they come out with their ruling or whatever, then we’ll just go from there,” D’Antoni said. “It’s never a good time, like an injury. But it’s something that, you know, the whole COVID thing is different. So you just deal with it. We got enough. We just go forward, concentrate on what we got and try to get the job done.”
If House is found to have committed a violation, he could be subject to a 10-day quarantine period. Prior to the NBA restarting their season in the bubble, Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes was forced to quarantine for 10 days after he left the bubble line to pick up food.
The Rockets are the last team staying at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort, which also serves as their testing site.
During the Rockets’ playoff run, House is averaging 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 35.8 percent from 3. The Rockets currently trail the Lakers 2-1 in their Western Conference semifinal series, with Game 4 Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET.