Why the number situation is bad for Houston Rockets forward Danuel House
When Danuel House first arrived on the Rockets in 2018-19, he became a feel good story worth following. House, the pride of Hightower High School in Missouri City, which is on the outskirts of Houston, was getting a chance to play for the local team that he grew up watching.
The Rockets' timing of the House addition was perfect, as the team had dealt with a myriad of injuries to Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, and Clint Capela, and had gotten off to a poor start. The 6-foot-7 forward became the Rockets' best 3-point shooter, as he made 41.6% of his triples during that year, earning him a multi-year deal in the offseason.
House was in and out of the Rockets' starting lineup in 2019-20, as Gordon dealt with knee injuries that ultimately caused him to get surgery. House averaged a career best 10.5 points and 4.2 rebounds, while making 36.5% of his threes and proving his ability to be a 3-and-D player for the team.
In the opening round of the playoffs, House's play was pivotal against the Oklahoma City Thunder, as he averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds, while making 37.2% of his threes, helping the Rockets survive and advance to the second round. However, House had arguably the biggest scandal of a drama-filled season, when he was suspended by the league office after Game 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers for breaking the league's COVID-19 protocol.
Rockets fans know the story all too well: House reportedly allowed a non-family member/female acquaintance into his hotel room and was sent home, in the middle of a playoff series. This instantly put him in the bad graces of Rockets' fans, due to the awful timing and the lack of maturity on his part.
House tried his best to move past it in 2020-21, but the jokes were too difficult for some to avoid. The Rockets had reportedly shopped him to gauge his trade value but ultimately held on to him, as they were fringe contenders prior to Christian Wood getting injured and missing several weeks of action.
With House on an expiring deal and the Rockets having gone much younger now, many have speculated whether he would also be dealt, especially considering the league's prized 3-and-D skillset. But the local kid surely would prefer to remain in Houston, with and around his family, not to mention the Southern music scene, which he's into off-the-court.
This is where the jersey number fiasco comes into effect. For many Rockets fans who haven't gotten over his lack of judgment in the 2020 playoffs, he shouldn't be on the team anymore, so at the very least, he should be willing to give up the jersey number.
We've seen some take shots at House for non-basketball related reasons, stating that he should give up the number for the sake of his team (which is ironically part of his slogan, 4DTeam). House has traded barbs with several on Twitter, in particularly one of the larger accounts within Rockets Twitter, which drew praise from some, as we tend to love seeing players defend themselves against criticism and especially personal-aimed attacks.
But for House, this hasn't been ideal, as it's forced him to re-visit his "mishap" (as he coined it), in a manner that can be perceived as him not taking responsibility for his actions and/or not understanding exactly what he did that got him suspended.
But the alternative would be to not defend himself.
And as for the jersey in particular, he'd open himself up for criticism by a faction of Rockets fans, who would mock him for "getting punked out of his number by a rookie", which he wouldn't be able to defend, as he's nearly 10 years older than Green and is entering his sixth year in the league.
In essence, House would be in a no-win situation, because if he doesn't give the jersey up, then he could be seen as selfish, but if he does, he could be seen as weak.