4:19pm: Asked prior to Thursday night’s game about House’s status, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed that he expects to be without the forward (Twitter link via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle). D’Antoni is unsure whether House will be available later in the series.
“The investigation is ongoing,” he said. “They’ll come out with their ruling and we’ll go from there.”
12:46pm: After word broke on Wednesday night that the NBA is investigating a potential violation of campus protocols by Rockets forward Danuel House, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Thursday morning that the probe is related to House allegedly allowing a female COVID-19 testing official into his hotel room. Now, Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic have provided more details on the investigation.
According to Charania and Amick, a female staffer – who is not believed to be a league employee – entered the Rockets’ team hotel on Monday night and left in the early hours of Tuesday morning. When the woman was questioned by league security, she claimed to have contact with Tyson Chandler and another player (not House), sources tell The Athletic.
The entire Rockets’ team entered a quarantine period on Tuesday due to possible coronavirus exposure, but the league’s investigation soon focused on Chandler and House, according to Charania and Amick. Those two players weren’t permitted to play in Game 3 vs. the Lakers on Tuesday night.
Although the woman didn’t implicate House and he has “vehemently denied” engaging in any improper conduct, the NBA says it has circumstantial evidence implicating House, per The Athletic’s report. The league’s investigation cleared Chandler on Wednesday and shifted its focus toward House, who has been in quarantine while the probe continues.
The Rockets and the NBPA have been supporting House, but Charania and Amick suggest that the team and the union are “virtually powerless” in the process, since the NBA is running the show on medical and protocol issues. Sources tell The Athletic that there has been some frustration about the lack of communication between the league’s investigative team and the Rockets.
Today’s latest injury report from the NBA continued to list House as out for Game 4 on Thursday night, so unless the league’s investigation clears him within the next few hours, it sounds as if he’ll likely miss a second consecutive game.