The NBA fined Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis $50,000 for violating league rules prohibiting players from going into any bar, club, lounge, or similar establishment, regardless of the player’s vaccination status, the league announced Tuesday.
Porzingis attended a club on May 23. However, per the league, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine process was needed.
Recently, Lakers forward LeBron James breached the NBA's health and safety protocols when he attended an outdoor promotional event for his tequila brand last week. James was not fined or suspended because the league stated the event was not considered a threat for spreading COVID-19.
However, a NBA spokesperson told the Dallas Morning News's Brad Townsend that the situation of James and Porzingis was "different."
"While we understand the inclination to compare this incident to protocol violations by other players, including LeBron James, those facts are different," the spokesperson said.
"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-19 test. The league reviews each potential protocol violation on a case-by-case basis, and imposes discipline based on the individual facts and circumstances of each matter."
Dallas will look to take a 2-0 lead in its opening round playoff series against the Clippers on Tuesday. Porzingis finished with 14 points and four rebounds in the Mavericks' 113-103 victory over the Clippers on Saturday.
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