Dallas Mavericks center/power forward Kristaps Porzingis has been fined $50,000 for violating the rule prohibiting players from going into bars, clubs, lounges or similar establishments, the league office announced Tuesday.
Porzingis violated the rule when he attended a club on Sunday, but he will not miss any games due to the infraction, according to the league's statement.
"What happened is a mistake on my part," Porzingis said Tuesday night after scoring 20 points in the Mavericks' 127-121 Game 2 victory that gave them a 2-0 lead over the LA Clippers in their first-round playoff series. "I was honestly a little bit confused with the protocols, made a mistake and paid for it. I'm glad that we were able to get the win tonight and I was able to play. I'm looking forward to what's coming, but it was a mistake on my part."
Sources told ESPN that Porzingis, who has been fully vaccinated, briefly visited a Los Angeles strip club.
"In consultation with medical experts, and based on all facts and circumstances, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine is necessary," the NBA's statement read, in part.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was found to be in breach of the NBA's health and safety protocols last week but was not fined or suspended for attending a promotional event for a tequila brand he backs.
"While we understand the inclination to compare [Porzingis'] incident to protocol violations by other players, including LeBron James, those facts are very different," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Tuesday. "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."
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said the team has addressed the situation internally.
"We obviously accept the league's ruling ... and other than that, we have no comment on the matter other than to get ready to play Game 2," Carlisle said during his virtual media availability ahead of Dallas' playoff tilt.