Kristaps Porzingis was in quarantine for a day after missing a coronavirus test in the NBA Bubble, which he calls a “mistake.”
Players in the NBA’s bubble are required to be tested daily for the coronavirus. The Dallas Mavericks big man missed his test on Saturday and could not scrimmage with his team on Sunday as a result.
Porzingis was with the team Monday and explained to the media what happened.
“It was just a mistake on my part. It was a day off and everything kind of threw me off a little bit and I just kind of missed it. It is what it is now. I can’t turn back the time and do the test. I wish I could,” Porzingis said.
Paul Millsap had to miss the Nuggets’ scrimmage on Saturday for the same reason.
The league has done a good job of keeping the coronavirus out of their campus setting at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., but the actions of Porzingis and Millsap, as well as Lou Williams, remind us that the cooperation of all involved is just as important as the testing protocol itself.
Porzingis’ Mavericks are seventh in the West at 40-27 and will be among the 22 teams participating in the restarted NBA season in Dallas. Players are expected to convene at their team headquarters before traveling to Orlando to begin the quarantine period ahead of the season’s restart.
The NBA season has been suspended since March 11, so seeing players get back together in preparation of the restart is exciting for them and the league’s fans.
The Kristaps Porzingis trade was a shocker when it first happened, and the team that ended up acquiring him even thought so too apparently.
Appearing this week on WFAN’s “Moose and Maggie,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban discussed his team’s move for Porzingis and admitted that he was taken aback when the New York Knicks offered their 7-foot-3 star.
“Very,” said Cuban when asked how stunned he was to receive the offer. “It happens in the NBA. It’s like the James Harden trade. Harden gets traded from OKC to the Rockets and I’m like, damn, why didn’t we even get that offered to us? We weren’t in the mix. Nobody was. It was one phone call and the Rockets said yes. [The Porzingis trade] was our one phone call.
“We already had those conversations before. GMs talk all the time,” Cuban added. “We’re willing to do this if you ever want to give him up … We used to get calls on Dirk [Nowitzki] ‘We’ll give you A,B,C,D,E and F,’ But we’re not trading Dirk ever. [They said], ‘Well, if you do.’ In this case, [the Knicks] changed their mind.”
The Mavs ended up acquiring Porzingis, already a rising All-Star and potential franchise centerpiece when the trade happened in early 2019, for a package based around DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr, and a pair of first-round picks. Also sent to Dallas were Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway Jr, who was the Mavs’ third-leading scorer this season.
While Porzingis was nursing a torn ACL at the time and had been clashing with the Knicks’ front office, the trade does not look any better for them in hindsight. As for the Mavs, to land a one-of-a-kind star like Porzingis just months after drafting another generational talent in Luka Doncic is a touch of good fortune that does not come along too often. If you ask the rest of the NBA too, they were just as surprised as Cuban that Porzingis was available.
“I have a little weight room here with a bike and stuff so I can do some cardio, and I do a little bit of boxing,” said Porzingis. “I try to work on my boxing skills, too, so I have a little bag right here, a little [basketball] basket over here, too, so I can keep working on my game. Just trying to stay busy and stay in shape. We don’t know when we’re going to re-start everything, so I’m just making sure I do the max I can to just stay in shape and stay ready.”
The Latvian big man also discussed his fascination with combat sports.
“I love boxing,” he went on. “I’ve always been a big fan of boxing and mixed martial arts, so I’m keeping myself entertained and doing a little bit of that myself here at home. And I’m a YouTube guy, so I’m on YouTube a lot just watching videos and learning new stuff. Like I said, just trying to keep myself busy. I kind of always been a big fan of Mike Tyson. And also, now with the MMA scene growing and Conor McGregor making it such a mainstream sport, I also became a big fan of MMA. That’s something I’d love to work on also in the offseason once I’m not playing, so we’ll see. I don’t know when, but I’ve always kind of been interested in the combat sports.”
Porzingis, who was averaging 19.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game before the season was suspended, would certainly be a menace in the ring. He stands a whopping 7-foot-3, and his 7-foot-6 wingspan would make him even more of a nightmare to box against.
Kristaps Porzingis may have reentered the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night after taking a shot to the nose, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t suffer a significant injury.
Porzingis confirmed after the Mavs’ 121-107 loss to Memphis that his nose was broken. He says he will get it checked out on Thursday.
Porzingis speaks about his broken nose. Yes, I’m the guy who joningly asked if he was worried about his good looks. Actually, his nose looks crooked now. pic.twitter.com/3iJQuwPIDJ
Porzingis finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes. He scored three points and grabbed a rebound in two minutes of action after returning to the game following the play that busted his nose.
Kristaps Porzingis has not played since he suffered a knee injury during the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers over a week ago, and the team is doing what it can to get him feeling better.
Porzingis received an injection to alleviate soreness in his right knee recently, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports. He was also dealing with an illness that has delayed his recovery.
Filed to ESPN: Kristaps Porzingis recently had a PRP injection in the sore right knee that has sidelined him since New Year’s Day. Mavs commonly use that kind of injection to treat injuries. Illness has delayed his recovery. He’ll miss his 6th straight game vs. Lakers.
Porzingis will not play against the Lakers on Friday, which will be his sixth consecutive missed game. The good news is the injury is to his right knee, which is not the same knee in which he tore his ACL two years ago.
The Mavericks are 23-14 on the season and on track to make the playoffs, so they will likely continue to play it safe with Porzingis. The big man is averaging 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game in his first season of actual play in Dallas. The priority is having him healthy down the stretch and into the postseason.