NBA fines Irving USD 50,000 for health, safety violations

The NBA fines Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving USD 50,000 for violating its health and safety protocols.

Kyrie Irving grimaces during an NBA contest against Atlanta Hawks on January 1, 2021. - AP

Kyrie Irving’s absence from the Brooklyn Nets has become a costly one.

The NBA fined the point guard USD 50,000 on Friday for violating its health and safety protocols, and said he could return to team activities on Saturday — though he won’t play in the Nets’ game that night.

The league added that he would forfeit his salary for each game he misses during a five-day quarantine period that would end on Saturday if he continues to test negative for the coronavirus. He’s already missed two, which means he has lost nearly USD 900,000 of his USD 33.5 million salary.

Irving has missed the last five games while away from the Nets for personal reasons. He was seen in a video on social media during his absence at an indoor family party while not wearing a mask. The league’s protocols prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments.

Irving is the second player to be fined for that. The other is his new team-mate, James Harden.

'Disappointed'

The Nets have not explained the reasons for Irving’s absence, leaving it to him to do when he returns. Their next game is on Saturday against Orlando, though they ruled him out, listing health and safety protocols on the injury report. Coach Steve Nash said on Friday he had no update about when Irving would rejoin the team.

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“Without a doubt, the organisation’s disappointed with not having any one of our players, in this particular case Kyrie, not amongst us, not in the trenches with us and so forth,” general manager Sean Marks said on Thursday during a news conference to discuss the trade for Harden.

“So I don’t want to speculate and say why he’s out and so forth. I’ve had conversations with him and I’ll continue to have conversations and we look forward to him being back in the gym, where he will address this,” he said.

In December, Irving was was fined USD 25,000 by the NBA for not speaking to the media during preseason.

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