Mavs' Kristaps Porzingis Says He Was 'Confused' by NBA Protocols After $50K Fine

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) signals during the first half of a NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
AP Photo/Brandon Wade

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis took responsibility Tuesday for breaking the NBA's COVID-19 protocols.

According to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, Porzingis said: "It was my fault, I was honestly confused about the protocols."

Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the NBA announced Tuesday that it had fined Porzingis $50,000 for breaking protocol. MacMahon noted that the fully vaccinated Porzingis "briefly visited" a Los Angeles strip club on Sunday night amid Dallas' first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Porzingis and the sixth-seeded Mavs beat the Clippers 127-121 on Tuesday to take a 2-0 series lead.

The NBA decided to fine Porzingis rather than suspend him, noting in its statement: "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."

Porzingis enjoyed a strong showing for the Mavs in Game 2, finishing with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, plus four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. He was also a plus-10, marking his second consecutive game with a plus rating in double digits.

Luka Doncic was once again the shining star for Dallas in Game 2 with a team-high 39 points to go along with seven assists and seven rebounds, but Porzingis provided 32 quality minutes in the win as well.

The Clippers took a cautious approach down the stretch by resting their star players and ensuring their health for the playoffs, but given their slow start, that may have been a mistake.

Dallas has looked like the hungrier and more desperate team so far, and a big reason for that is the youthful exuberance of younger players like Doncic and Porzingis.

The Mavericks were fortunate that Porzingis' COVID violation didn't result in anything more than a fine, as Dallas may well have lost Game 2 if not for his imposing presence in the paint.