On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis has been fined $50,000 for visiting a club on Sunday, May 23. Per the league, Porzingis violated the league rule that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, prohibits a player from visiting any bar, club, lounge, or similar establishment. This rule is in effect regardless of if a player has been vaccinated or not.
The NBA just fined the Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis $50,000 for violating the rule prohibiting players from going into any bar, club, lounge, or similar establishment, regardless of the player’s vaccination status.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 25, 2021
Porzingis, per the league’s assessment, did not “create risks” that could spread COVID-19, so he does not have to quarantine (and thus miss multiple playoff games against the Clippers) as a result.
The news of this comes days after LeBron James made headlines for not getting reprimanded after attending a promotional event for his tequila brand that was determined to violate the league’s health & safety protocols. The league, in a statement, addressed the comparison directly, per The Athletic‘s Shams Charania.
“While we understand the inclination to compare this incident to protocol violations by other players, including LeBron James, those facts are very different. LeBron briefly attended an outdoor event related to an individual commercial activity where everyone was either required to be vaccinated or return a negative COVID test,” the statement reads. “The league reviews each potential protocol violation on a case-by-case basis, and determines quarantines and imposes discipline based on the individual facts and circumstances of each matter.”
From a basketball point of view, this is also a win for Dallas. Porzingis has been up-and-down in his Mavericks career, but they probably need him in hopes of beating the Clippers in round one. Dallas, who is currently up 1-0 in the series, plays in Los Angeles on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. EST. In Game 1 of the series, Porzingis had 14 points on 4-for-13 shooting and 4 rebounds in a 113-103 win.