Kristaps Porzingis, a Mavericks forward, was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for going to a club on Sunday, May 23. Porzingis broke a league rule prohibiting players from attending any bar, club, lounge, or similar establishment during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the league. This law applies regardless of whether or not a player has been vaccinated.
Porzingis did not “develop threats” that could spread COVID-19, according to the league’s evaluation, so he will not be quarantined (and will thus miss several playoff games against the Clippers).
The news comes just days after LeBron James made headlines for avoiding disciplinary action after attending a promotional event for his tequila brand that was found to breach the league’s health and safety protocols. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league specifically addressed the contrast in a tweet.
“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.”
This is also a victory for Dallas on the basketball court. Porzingis has had an up-and-down career with the Mavericks, but they will most likely need him if they are to defeat the Clippers in the first round. Dallas, which leads the series 1-0, will play in Los Angeles on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. EST. Porzingis had 14 points on 4-for-13 shooting and 4 rebounds in Game 1 of the season, which he won 113-103.