The NBA fined Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis $50,000 on Tuesday after he apparently went to a club in Los Angeles after their first playoff win on Saturday.
Porzingis, the league said, attended a club on Sunday — one day after Dallas beat the Los Angeles Clippers 113-106 in Game 1 of their opening round playoff series at the Staples Center.
According to NBA rules, players are prohibited "from going into any bar, club, lounge or similar establishment, regardless of the player's vaccination status."
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.
Porzingis 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. The Mavericks were listed at +120 to win the series ahead of Game 2.
But what about LeBron James' COVID-19 violation?
Almost instantly, fans started comparing Porzingis' violation to LeBron James' recent violation — which didn't result in a suspension or a fine of any kind.
The Los Angeles Lakers star 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.
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.
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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