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NBPA 'Stand With' Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis Amid Rape Allegations

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 1, 2019

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 26: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on March 26, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Glenn James/Getty Images

National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts issued a statement on behalf of the organization in response to allegations against Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis, who has been accused of assaulting and raping a woman.

Ian Begley of ESPN relayed the statement:

Ian Begley @IanBegley

NBPA statement from executive director Michele Roberts on the Kristaps Porzingis rape allegations: “We have been aware of these allegations for some time, have evaluated the accuser’s claims and, based on what is presently before us, stand with Kristaps.”

According to Tina Moore of the New York Post, a woman reportedly told the New York Police Department on Thursday that Porzingis held her against her will and raped her at his Sky building in Manhattan on Feb. 7, 2018.

At the time, the forward played for the New York Knicks.

Moore provided more information about the NYPD's reported belief in her credibility:

"Investigators consider her credible, one high-ranking NYPD source told The Post.

"The accuser is 'believable,' the source said, even though she did not report the alleged attack until more than a year later and has admitted to cops that she discussed getting $68,000 in hush money from the multimillionaire basketballer."

Porzingis' attorney, Roland G. Riopelle, issued a statement (h/t Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today) to numerous media outlets in response to the allegation denying the claims.

"We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations. We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on December 20, 2018, based on the accuser's extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement. We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association."

Porzingis, who suffered a torn ACL on the night the alleged rape occurred, was traded to the Mavericks on Jan. 31 of this year.

That leads to the question of what the Mavs did and didn't know about the accusations, and two different claims have been made.

Two sources told Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News that there was no mention of sexual assault allegations on a conference call between the Knicks, Mavericks and the NBA closing the deal. There was mention of an "extortion," however.

That contradicts a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reported that the Knicks notified Dallas of rape allegations against Porzingis.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the Post that "we have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment." He did not offer comment to an ESPN report that featured contributions from Begley, Royce Young and Tim MacMahon.

An NBA spokesman confirmed the league's awareness of the allegations to ESPN, and the Knicks told ESPN that the allegations are "Kristaps' personal matter and not related to the Knicks."

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