Nets' Kyrie Irving fined $50,000 for violating health protocols


The NBA is fining Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving for violating league coronavirus protocols.

The $50,000 penalty was levied after Irving attended a "private indoor party" last week, in breach of league guidelines limiting such gatherings, the NBA said in a press release.

The missed games due to quarantining would also cost Irving about $400,000 in forfeited salary, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Irving has missed each of the Nets' past five games, last suiting up for a home game against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 5. His absence has been unexplained officially.

Initial reports indicated a potential personal emergency, but followups seemed to suggest the notoriously tight-lipped Nets were merely being cagey about an apparent protocol violation, perhaps at a family birthday party.

General manager Sean Marks spoke out this week, saying Irving was excited about returning and would address the circumstances of his absence when he was ready.

The league press release said Irving could return to Nets team activities as soon as Saturday, assuming he continued to test negative.

The fine marks the second for Irving on the young season. The former Cavaliers and Celtics star was fined $25,000 last month when he declined to speak to reporters as part of the league's annual preseason media week.

Irving later apologized to reporters for appearing to dismiss them as "pawns" on social media amid the media week absence.