NBA fines Dallas center Kristaps Porzingis for going to a club

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Dallas center Kristaps Porzingis was fined $50,000 but not forced into quarantine by the NBA on Tuesday for attending a club one day after Dallas beat the Clippers in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

One day after scoring 14 points in the Mavericks’ upset Saturday of the Clippers at Staples Center, Porzingis attended a club, according to the league, and in the process violated its health and safety protocols put in place this season to insulate the NBA from coronavirus.

Players are prohibited “from going into any bar, club, lounge or similar establishment, regardless of the player’s vaccination status,” league operations president Byron Spruell said in a statement.

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The NBA determined that “his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine is necessary.”

Game 2 is Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The fine comes days after the NBA announced that Lakers star LeBron James had violated its health and safety protocols by attending an outdoor photo shoot alongside celebrities including Drake and Michael B. Jordan to promote the All-Star’s tequila brand.

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James did not receive a fine or suspension, with the league later issuing a statement that “under current NBA rules, vaccinated players are permitted to engage in outside activities including their individual commercial arrangements, such as sponsor appearances or ad shoots,” according to league spokesman Mike Bass.

Asked about the difference between James’ violation and Porzingis, Bass said in a statement to Stadium on Tuesday that “while we understand the inclination to compare this incident to protocols violations by other players, including LeBron James, those facts are very different.

“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.”

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