An NBA Player Got Caught Breaking the Rules in the Bubble

An NBA basketball player opening a hotel room to sneak in a female during the pandemic
Artwork by Anthony Faust
An NBA basketball player opening a hotel room to sneak in a female during the pandemic

The National Basketball Association (NBA) season was one professional sports league that got creative in playing through the pandemic. The 2019-2020 season was halted on March 11, 2020, and the league began to craft their plan. On June 4, the NBA’s Board of Governors approved a plan to restart the season on July 30, which included a single site campus at Walt Disney Resort in Florida.


The 22 teams that were within playoff contention were brought to the campus, with players, coaches, and staff kept in a “bubble”. They would play a short schedule of seeding games to determine the playoff teams, and then begin a playoff schedule to determine a champion in October. 


There were strict health and safety protocols set in place. Everyone was tested daily for COVID-19. No fans were allowed to attend the games, and participants’ families and friends were only allowed into the “bubble” after the playoffs’ first round. They would stay and be held to the same precautions as the players and coaches. 


The seeding games ended, and the playoff matchups were set. The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers advanced to the second round and matched up in the Western Conference Semifinals. 


The day after game 2, reserve forward Daniel House Jr. got caught bringing an unauthorized guest--one of the female temperature checkers--up to his room for several hours. He was held out of games 3 and 4 while the NBA concluded their investigation and then was sent home. The Rockets would go on to lose to the eventual champion in five games. Shortly after, House got support from fellow NBA player Kevin Durant, while appearing on The Joe Budden Podcast. Durant said:

"If you've been in a bubble away from some action for three months? I mean, you can't blame him, dog. I heard it was no females at all outside of [COVID testers]. The maids were all men, there was nothing but men around. After a couple months, you down 3-1? Nah. ‘I don't give a f— no more man.'"

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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