League sources reportedly denied that the word 'rape' was used during the Knicks' Porzingis trade call with the Mavericks
The New York Knicks did not use the word 'rape' when notifying the Dallas Mavericks of allegations against forward Kristaps Porzingis on a trade call, league sources reportedly told The Dallas Morning News' Brad Townsend.
According to Townsend, two league sources contradicted Saturday's ESPN report that the Knicks told the Mavericks that Porzingis was being investigated for rape allegations during the Jan. 31 call with NBA officials to finalize the deal.
"The word that was used was 'extortion,'" one source said. Another source added that, "The word 'rape' was never used, only 'extortion.'"
The league sources who spoke to The Morning News said the NBA was informed of the alleged extortion attempt by Porzingis's alleged victim several months ago.
According to a report from Tina Moore of the New York Post, Porzingis has been accused of raping a woman in New York in February 2018. The woman told the NYPD about the alleged attack on Thursday and waited over a year to talk to law enforcement because she discussed getting $68,000 from Porzingis to pay for her brother's college tuition to stay quiet, the Post reported. Porzingis allegedly revoked his promise.
The woman, who lived in the same building as Porzingis, alleged he raped her on Feb. 7, 2018, in his Manhattan penthouse. She reportedly told police he visited her at her apartment around 2 a.m. before she accepted an invitation to come to his residence. The alleged incident took place just hours after Porzingis tore his ACL in his left knee in a game against the Bucks at Madison Square Garden.
"We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations," Porzingis's attorney, Roland G. Riopelle, said in the statement. "We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on Dec. 20, 2018, based on the accuser's extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago, and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement. We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association."
The Knicks traded Porzingis to the Mavericks on Jan. 31. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was asked prior to the game about Saturday's EPSN report that the Mavericks were made aware of the allegations against Porzingis during the trade call.
"I have no knowledge of any of that, so, therefore, I can't comment on it," Carlisle said.
Porzingis was not in Oklahoma City for the team's game against the Thunder on Sunday.