Irving fined $50,000 over Covid protocol breach

New York (AFP) –


Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after attending a crowded indoor party without wearing a mask, the league said Friday.

Irving was placed under investigation after video emerged on social media showing him attending a birthday party with no mask.

NBA protocols to combat the coronavirus forbid players from attending indoor gatherings of more than 15 people.

Irving has not played since January 5 for what the Nets have said are "personal reasons".

However he will be eligible to return to team activities on Saturday after a five-day quarantine period, provided he continues to test negative for the virus, the NBA said in a statement.

Irving will also forfeit salary earned during his quarantine period.

Irving is a key part of a Brooklyn team hoping to become serious title challengers this season.

The Nets acquired Houston Rockets star James Harden this week to form a heavyweight line-up alongside Irving and Kevin Durant, who returned to play this season after a year-long injury absence.

The Nets are sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, with seven wins and six defeats.