The NBA has fined Dallas Mavericks’ forward Kristaps Porzingis $50,000 for violating the association’s Health and Safety Protocols. Porzingis had reportedly attended a party on May 23, which was in violation of the protocols.
Vaccinated players definitely have more freedom but they are still not allowed to go to bars, clubs and lounges according to the protocols. However, medical experts have suggested that his attendance didn’t bear the risk of spreading COVID-19 virus. So, he doesn’t need to be quarantined.
The NBA’s reaction to Porzingis’ actions have drawn a lot of criticism, though. Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James also had reportedly violated the protocols by attending a tequila event of a brand he invests in. The association didn’t punish him, though, and he went on to participate in both of the Lakers’ play-in games against the Golden State Warriors and the first game of their series against the Phoenix Suns.
The confusion, however, was cleared out by the NBA in a statement after issuing the fine, via 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,” the statement read.
“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 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,” it further stated.
Even though Porzingis has been fined, the Mavericks are fortunate that he hasn’t been suspended. He is supposed to play in the second game of the Dallas’ series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. This, however, wasn’t his first violation of the COVID-19 protocols. He missed a scrimmage in the Orlando bubble last year as he missed a COVID test.