Duke basketball: Austin Rivers leaves NBA bubble for family emergency

Former Duke basketball standout freshman Austin Rivers has left the NBA bubble to attend to a family emergency.

Another former Duke Blue Devil has left the NBA bubble to tend to a family emergency and it’s Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers.

The news of Rivers’ departure from the bubble was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Currently, there have been no reports of Rivers’ father, Doc, the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, leaving the bubble as well.

Rivers is completing his first full season with the Rockets after being traded to Houston from the Washington Wizards last season.

The former Blue Devil is averaging 8.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game on 42.1 percent shooting from the field and 35.8 percent from 3-point range.

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Houston currently sits as the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, already clinching a playoff spot, but there is still a chance for the Rockets to improve their seeding in the eight-game regular season of the season’s resumption. They are tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder, one game behind the Utah Jazz, and two and a half games behind the Denver Nuggets for the No. 3 seed.

If a player were to leave the bubble and return to his team, the NBA has put into place several precautions for that player to be constantly tested for COVID-19 while they are away from Orlando, Florida, as well as when they get back.

New Orleans Pelicans star and former Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson has also left the bubble to deal with a family emergency, but Charania reported on Thursday that he has been tested every day for the virus since his departure.

ALSO READ: Zion Williamson leaves NBA bubble due to emergency

Every test Williamson has produced has been negative, and he still has every intention of rejoining his team in the bubble. The report stated that Austin Rivers plans to be back in the bubble at some point this weekend.

The Houston Rockets also just got point guard Russell Westbrook back into the fold who was late arriving in Orlando because of a positive COVID-19 test.

Houston will begin its restarted season on Friday, July 31 against the Dallas Mavericks.

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