Report: Danuel House eventually confirmed findings of NBA probe

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Throughout the extended investigation into whether Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. broke the NBA’s “bubble” protocol at Disney World, one reason the team had hoped he might return to the court was his continued denial of any wrongdoing.

House initially denied involvement in the incident according to the individual with familiar with the probe of the incident.

As the investigation progressed, however, House did confirm the NBA’s findings, according to another individual with knowledge of the investigation. He was instructed to leave the NBA’s Florida campus and will not return this season.

The discipline was much stronger than expected. On Wednesday, ESPN reported that House could potentially be out for the remainder of the team’s second-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, with the likely discipline being a mandatory 10-day quarantine period.

But if House initially lied to or misled the league’s investigators, that could explain why the NBA took the extra step of dismissing him from the Florida campus and ending his season, rather than just subjecting him to the usual 10-day quarantine for protocol violators.

The Rockets were reportedly “blindsided” in recent days by the NBA’s actions regarding House, who was forced out of Game 3 and Game 4 while the probe was in progress. However, that frustration may have been based in part on House’s denial, which now looks to have been false.

Per The Athletic, the NBA focused on House based on “circumstantial evidence” suggesting that he violated protocol late Monday by being in close contact with an unauthorized female at his hotel.

Both House and the woman in question initially denied his involvement, with the woman (allegedly a COVID-19 testing official) identifying Tyson Chandler and another Houston player. However, the NBA found that information not to be credible, and Chandler was eventually cleared.

The circumstantial evidence against House appears have involved “door data,” referring to a possible opening of the door to House’s hotel room during the time window in question on Monday night.

While testing officials are allowed inside the bubble, they go in and out each day and (unlike players) do not live there. Thus, as with maintenance staff, the NBA has strict protocols in place to minimize the potential exposure of those workers to personnel living at the bubble.

It all makes for an embarrassing end to the season for House, who remains under contract with the Rockets for two more seasons.

In nine playoff games, House averaged 11.4 points (35.8% on 3-pointers) and 5.8 rebounds in 31.0 minutes, and he was among the most athletic and versatile options for Houston’s switch-heavy defense. As long as Houston stays alive in the playoffs, his previous rotation minutes will likely be filled by reserves Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore.

In the current series, the Rockets were 1-1 against the Lakers in both games with House, and they led going to the fourth quarter in the lone loss. Meanwhile, they were 0-2 without their sixth man in Game 3 and Game 4, with both losses coming by double digits.

Saturday’s Game 5 between the Rockets and Lakers tips off at 7:00 p.m. Central, with a national TV broadcast on ESPN. If Houston loses that game, its 2019-20 season would come to an end.

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SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/report-danuel-house-eventually-confirmed-findings-of-nba-probe/?remotepost=268844

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