NBA star Kristaps Porzingis cops $50k fine over strip club breach

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after visiting a strip club last weekend. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after visiting a strip club last weekend. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Dallas big man Kristaps Porzingis has tested the Mavericks' playoff momentum after copping a $50,000 fine from the NBA for visiting a strip club in Los Angeles earlier this week.

Under the NBA's rules for players to keep the league running amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, strip clubs, bars, and lounges are strictly off-limits for players, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

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Porzingis apparently visited the strip club a day after the Mavericks' 113-106 victory over the LA Clippers in their first round playoff series.

Porzingis will be available to play in Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night, as the league “determined that his attendance [at the club] did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19.” It is unclear if Porzingis has received a coronavirus vaccine.

The Latvian star dropped 14 points and had four rebounds in that win. 

The 25-year-old is averaging 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game this season.

However, soon after the fine was aired publicly, fans began to make a comparison between Porzingis' indiscretion and a recent incident involving LeBron James.

James was given the all-clear by the league after he reportedly attended an event promoting a tequila brand alongside rapper Drake and actor Michael B. Jordan before their play-in game against the Golden State Warriors, which violated the NBA's coronavirus protocols.

The NBA declined to punish him in any way, which immediately drew criticism for what many saw as a double standard.

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The league issued a statement clarifying why he wasn't suspended or fined on Monday, saying that he "briefly attended an outdoor event where participants were required to be vaccinated or return a negative test result." 

The NBA also said that there have been other similar instances this season, but it did not say what those were.

NBA responds to LeBron James, Kristaps Porzingis controversy

Amid a deluge of questions about why James' breach of the league's rules went unpunished while Porzingis was forced to pay up, NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued a statement in response.

In it, the argument was made that James, while still in contravention of the rules, had attended an event much less likely to pose a risk to the season than Porzingis.

"While we understand the inclination to compare this incident to protocol violations by other players, including LeBron James, those facts are very different," the statement read.

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"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."

The NBA also said that there have been other similar instances this season, but it did not say what those were.

The club that Porzingis attended almost certainly was not regulated in the way that the event James attended was, hence the fine from the league.

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