Danuel House Jr. reportedly profusely apologized to his entire team after “the incident” that ended his season early. This new detail comes out as the Houston Rockets attempt to figure out what to do with him going forward.
House getting expelled from the NBA Bubble remains one of the more surreal stories to come out of this season.
The 27-year-old was in the midst of a very solid postseason run with the Rockets when, inexplicably, he decided to violate bubble protocol and have an unauthorized person (allegedly a female COVID-19 testing official) in his room.
As soon as the NBA learned what happened, it launched an investigation. The investigation confirmed initial reports, and House was sent home.
The Rockets were subsequently eliminated from the second round of the NBA Playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers.
This week, Kelly Iko of The Athletic shined a light on what happened shortly after it became clear that House had in fact done what he stood accused of doing.
Apparently the first course of action was an apology.
“From what I understand, Danuel House apologized to the entire (Rockets) team before exiting the bubble,” he wrote.
“It was a bad decision made on his part, but one that didn’t just affect the team — it might have affected his future.”
ROCKETS MEGA-MAILBAG, PART 2 up on @TheAthleticNBA
🏀The Danuel House dilemma
🏀Isolation island and Harden 2.0
🏀Lessons from the 4 conference finalists
🏀Ownership and head coach costs, and more. https://t.co/9tvEUrE1D4
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) September 24, 2020
Now the question becomes: where do all parties involved go from here?
House was a solid player in the postseason for Houston. Over the course of nine playoff games, he averaged 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per outing. Moreover, he is on a good — and very team friendly — deal with the Rockets. He is owed $3.7 million next year and $3.9 million the following season.
A lot will obviously depend on who the Rockets bring in as a head coach.
Mike D’Antoni, who left at the end of this season, was a big fan of House’s.
That explains it. https://t.co/dio3mGLGhE
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 25, 2020
“I think he’s blossoming into one of the better players in the league,” he said following a strong performance from House against the Lakers in Game 2 of that series.
“He’s playing with a lot of energy, athletically, making great decisions on defense and offense. He’s come a long ways, and who knows — I still think he’ll improve and get better. There’s no reason why he’s not one of the better players in the league.”
With D’Antoni gone, it will be intriguing to see if his eventual replacement feels the same way.
By all accounts, the front office is looking for a “veteran” coach.
ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said as much this week.
You definitely don’t wanna be on Allen Iverson’s bad side. https://t.co/tV2FsTAvng
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 24, 2020
“Houston, I think you’re going to see more of a veteran coach there for that group,” he said.
“I think they’ll interview a lot of people. Ty Lue and Sam Cassell with the Clippers are a couple, but a bunch more,” he continued.
“They like interviewing a lot of people with the Rockets, traditionally, when they have an opening — and trying a lot of combinations of head coach and top assistant. They try to find people that complement each other.”
If that “veteran” coach feels like House’s indiscretion was a particularly egregious offense, then he could be on the way out.
Should that not be the case, then House will have all next season to redeem himself.
One way or another, this figures to be one of the more consequential offseasons of House’s NBA career.