Heck, the House situation wasn’t isolated to just him.
The female coronavirus tester who allegedly entered his hotel room reportedly said she had contact with Tyson Chandler and another Rockets player but not House. House missed Games 3 and 4 of Houston’s series against the Lakers. Chandler missed Game 3 then got cleared.
As for the other player? He apparently got cleared.
But plenty of controversy still surrounds House.
The league has information that one of its contracted COVID-19 testing employees entered the Rockets’ Grand Floridian Hotel late night on Monday and has based its investigation of House on “door data” which showed House’s hotel room door opened sometime in those hours.
The woman, however, implicated Rockets center Tyson Chandler and another player and not House, the individual said. Chandler was cleared by the NBA investigation on Wednesday. The information on the other player was deemed not credible.
People with knowledge of the situation, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the ongoing investigation, said that the Rockets were “blindsided” by the NBA’s decision and that there had been little direct communication between the league office and team officials and Houston had received no formal presentation of evidence. Instead, communication continues between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.
“The NBA is treating [House] as guilty until proven innocent for safety reasons,” said one person with knowledge of the situation. “They’re prioritizing their perception of safety over everything else. The NBPA feels its hands are tied. Any time [the union] talks about due process or presumption of guilt, [the NBA] immediately says, ‘Safety, safety, safety.’ There has to be some limit or balance.”
“If it was a star player, there’s no way [the NBA] would handle it this way,” said a person close to House with direct knowledge of the investigation. “They want to make an example out of somebody.”
These are all reasonable concerns – safety, due process, fairness. It’s difficult to balance everything.
Meanwhile, the Rockets-Lakers series is proceeding. Which means something must give. So, far it has been House’s availability.
Safety is often cited when denying someone due process. Sometimes, that’s reasonable. Often, it is not.
House is a helpful role player in Houston’s micro-ball system. But he is far from a star. Would a star get treated differently? It’s impossible to know for certain. Despite rumors to the contrary, no direct evidence has been presented of widespread bubble violations. But the NBA’s lack of transparency makes it more difficult to give the league benefit of the doubt.
That said, an anonymous accusation without evidence isn’t trustworthy, either.