The Houston Rockets are distancing themselves from Kevin Porter Jr. following his domestic violence arrest last month.
“The allegations against him are deeply troubling,” general manager Rafael Stone said at the team’s media day this week. “Going back a few weeks, as soon as I heard the allegations, I informed his representatives that he could not be part of the Houston Rockets. They understood and he has not been with the team or around the team or had any interaction with the team since that time and will not be at media day today or in training camp.”
The 23-year-old faces charges of felony assault and strangulation after a September incident in Manhattan involving his then-girlfriend, former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick. The trial is set to begin October 16.
According to the criminal complaint, Gondrezick told police that Porter punched her in the face with a closed fist repeatedly, which cut her above the right eye, causing bruising and substantial pain. Hospital testing showed that she was also left with a fractured neck vertebrae.
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Porter and the Rockets agreed to a four-year $82.5 million contract extension in October, 2022. Stone said that Porter's case now falls under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, and will be handled by the league going forward.
Porter's four year career in the NBA has been filled with controversies. In January 2022, the Rockets suspended him for one game after a “spirited debate” with then-coach Stephen Silas, who said the player “lost his temper” at halftime and refused to play the second half of the game.
In April 2021, Porter was fined $50,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s COVID-19 health restrictions when he visited a strip club in Miami. In November 2020, he was arrested after he was involved in a single-vehicle crash, and police reported finding a loaded handgun and marijuana in his car. Those charges were eventually dismissed.
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