Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis, of the Dallas Mavericks, has been fined $ 50,000 by the NBA on considering that his presence at a club in Los Angeles, last Sunday, violated league covid-19 health and safety protocols.
Quite the opposite of what happened with the star forward of the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, who participated in an entire commercial promotion of a tequila brand and the NBA considered that he had not violated any protocol.
Before the criticism that the NBA has received immediately through social networks considering that James has become a “untouchable” like Michael Jordan in his day, the commissioner’s office has had to offer its “version” of the decision that has not convinced anyone.
NBA rules prevent players from going to clubs, bars, or lounges regardless of the vaccination status, without specifying either if it is about socializing on a personal level or it is about an image and commercial promotion in which James always moves, regardless of the cause he defends.
League protocols offer more freedom to vaccinated players, but these They cannot go to clubs, bars or salons regardless of vaccination status.
Your attendance wasn’t considered a risk in terms of spreading COVID-19, according to medical experts the league consulted, so you won’t need to quarantine it.
LeBron’s event was different
Given this evidence and the strong criticism received, the NBA has tried to “justify”, without objective arguments, that James’ participation in the promotion last week, which was also a clear violation of the covid-19 protocols, without having a fine and being able to play all the playoff games, other elements were given.
In the statement released by the NBA, the league explains that the two cases are different.
“Yes OK we understand the inclination to compare this incident with protocol violations by other players, including James, those facts are very different, “argues the NBA.
According to the league, the Lakers star briefly attended an outdoor event related to a commercial activity individual where everyone had to be vaccinated or present a negative covid-19 test.
“The league reviews each possible violation of the protocol on a case-by-case basis, determines quarantines and imposes disciplinary measures based on the individual facts and circumstances of each matter,” concludes the NBA’s argument in which it leaves no doubt that its final decision it will be based not only on the facts of the possible violations but on the “discretion” of the league.
Hence on the one hand they have seen that Porzingis violated the protocols and that is why he receives the fine, but at the same time they have not wanted to suspend it with a match.
Is It is not the first time that Porzingis has broken the covid-19 rules. Last July, in the Orlando bubble, he did not play a playoff preparation game because he missed a covid-19 test, without his absence affecting the Mavericks.
But now the NBA after having been “permissive” with James once again used Porzingis as an “example” for the rest of the players, but with everything at stake in the playoffs it no longer dared to go any further, with a suspension that would have been lethal to its “image” of impartiality.