I’ve never spent a day of my life in the NBA bubble, but I have spent a notable portion of my time on Earth as a member of the United States Air Force. And immediately following Hell—more commonly known as basic training—I was shipped off to tech school in Biloxi, Miss., which is essentially the military equivalent of college.
While there, I spent several months learning my job and acclimating to my new found life as government property. In exchange for my soul, I was provided lodging, healthcare and food—the complimentary PTSD wouldn’t arrive until years later—but one of the rules in tech school was that we weren’t allowed to leave the base under any circumstances—kinda like the NBA bubble.
You would think thousands of teenagers would go stir crazy under that type of mandate, but a military base is literally a miniature city—again, sorta kinda like the NBA bubble. We had bars, auto shops, Burger King, hospitals, a bowling alley, furniture stores, a bootleg Target, pretty much everything we needed—everything but companionship—which reminds me of another rule: Women weren’t allowed in our dorm rooms. Ever. And vice versa. Doing so was grounds for a dishonorable discharge from the military, and having your entire life ruined over sexual impropriety with somebody you barely knew would’ve been all-time stupid.
All that to say since the NBA resumed play in July, players have been operating under similar mandates in order to circumvent the coronavirus pandemic. And much like tech school attendees, leaving the bubble is grounds for severe punishment, as is being caught with a woman in your room.
Enter Houston Rockets sixth man Danuel House Jr.
Antennas went up when he inexplicably missed Game 3 against the Lakers for “personal reasons” on Tuesday, and now it appears the Texas A&M product has some explaining to do.
From Yahoo Sports:
Houston Rockets reserve Danuel House Jr. is under investigation by the league for allegedly allowing a female COVID-19 testing official into his hotel room, and his status for the remainder of the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers is in question, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Now is it possible that this unnamed female COVID-19 testing official merely broke protocol to administer a test? Sure. But when you factor in that most of these players have gone months without female interaction, and are acutely aware of the 113-page rule book that explicitly prohibits them from allowing anyone to enter their rooms, something ain’t adding up.
Again, we don’t know what the hell happened—yet—and while I’m here for the jokes, it’s also important to point out that if House violated bubble protocol, his status for the duration of the Western Conference semifinals is in jeopardy, per to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
For his part, House maintains that he’s heeded Chirs Rock’s advice and has abstained from having sex in the champagne room. The league will likely make its decision on the matter prior to Game 4 on Thursday, but in the interim, expect the jokes to continue to fly.