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Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. apologizes after COVID-19 bubble 'mishap'

Ryan Young
·3-min read

Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. had a, well, unusual and abrupt end to the 2019-20 season.

House left the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World early last season after the league determined he spent multiple hours with an unauthorized guest in his hotel room, a clear violation of the league’s COVID-19 policy.

On Wednesday, when House met with the media for the first time since the incident, the 27-year-old quickly apologized.

“First of all I’d like to start out by apologizing to my team and the organization and the owner for the mishap that happened in the bubble,” House said. “I’m focused, it’s behind me, it’s in the past. New year, new season. I’m looking forward to growing and expanding.

“I’d like to deeply apologize to the fans, also. If you felt I let you down, sincere apologies from me, Danuel House Jr., to everyone.”

House doesn’t feel the need to redeem himself

House missed Game 3 of Houston’s series with the Los Angeles Lakers in September for “personal reasons,” though an NBA investigation determined that he had a female coronavirus testing official in his hotel room for several hours.

The NBA’s bubble rules prohibited anyone from entering someone else’s hotel room. The official reportedly didn’t implicate House directly, but said she had contact with Tyson Chandler and another unnamed player. Chandler and the other player were later cleared.

House then left the bubble and missed the rest of the postseason — which ended quickly, as the Rockets fell to the eventual champions 4-1 in the series.

Though his incident and departure wasn’t the only reason that they lost, it certainly had an impact. He had averaged 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in 31 minutes in the postseason.

“[It was] very, very disappointing. And it affected us,” Rockets star James Harden said after they were eliminated from the playoffs. “Obviously we still have to go out there and play a basketball game, play a series. But it affected us because obviously [it’s] just a distraction and he was a huge part of our rotation. But you know we still had to go out there and compete and try to get games, try to win games.”

House said he has already met with his teammates about the incident this offseason and apologized.

And as they get ready for the season to kick off later this month, the Houston native doesn’t feel like he needs to redeem himself in the locker room any more than he already has.

“I feel like I’m still carrying on,” House said, via the Houston Chronicle. “Even though I wasn’t able to participate, as soon as I got home I was in the gym. So right now I feel like it’s a momentum builder.

“I mean, you live and you learn. You take the bad and you just flip it and make the energy work for you.”

Danuel House Jr. of the Houston Rockets
Danuel House Jr. left the NBA bubble early in September after he had an unauthorized guest in his hotel room, a violation of the league's COVID-19 policy. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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