NBA fines ‘reckless’ Portis after flagrant foul on Caldwell-Pope

Bobby Portis #1 of the New York Knicks handles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 7, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.  Copyright 2020 NBAE Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis was fined $25,000 Wednesday for a nasty foul on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope that saw Portis ejected from the Lakers’ win over the Knicks on Tuesday.

The fine announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, executive vice president of basketball operations, was for “recklessly making contact above the shoulders of an airborne shooter.”

Caldwell-Pope was driving for a basket in the second quarter, with the Lakers up by nine points, when Portis — possibly attempting to swat the ball away from behind — smacked the Lakers player in the head and knocked him to the ground.

Lakers superstar LeBron James and teammate Rajon Rondo had harsh words for Portis before he left the court after being assessed for a flagrant foul.

Caldwell-Pope returned to the game in the third quarter after passing concussion tests.

“It wasn’t intentional at all,” Portis insisted after the game.

“I went for the ball. My intent was never to hurt anybody or anything like that. Just trying to make a play on the ball. Missed the ball and hit him in the head.”

© Agence France-Presse