Report: Austin Rivers Leaves NBA Bubble Due to 'Urgent Family Matter'
Rockets guard Austin Rivers exited the NBA bubble on Friday due to an "urgent family matter," according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
The Rockets are hopeful Rivers can return this weekend, per Charania. It's unclear where Rivers will be traveling to upon leaving the Walt Disney World campus, though Houston's point guard previously noted his family is located in Orlando.
"I’m 20 minutes from my home. I just got a home here in Orlando," Rivers told the media in a Zoom call last week. "It’s where my girl is, my family is. My son is right down the street from here. It’s been hard knowing they’re 20 minutes away. So close yet so far."
The Rockets will hold a scrimmage against the Raptors on Friday without their backup point guard, though Houston should have both MVPs on the floor. Russell Westbrook has logged two impressive practices since arriving at the NBA bubble on Monday, and he is expected to play vs. Toronto, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
Rivers, 27, is in his seventh NBA season and his second with the Rockets. The Duke product is averaging 8.5 points and 23.4 minutes per game in 2019-20, serving as a reliable backcourt option behind Westbrook and James Harden. Rivers was in the midst of an extended hot streak before the COVID-19 hiatus, shooting 44.4% from three since returning from a thumb injury on Jan. 22.
Friday's scrimmage against Toronto is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. CT. Houston will resume the regular season on July 31, with tip-off against Dallas set for 8 p.m. CT.