Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. fractured girlfriend's vertebrae in NYC assault, prosecutors say
Tue, Sep 12, 2023
NBA News (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) - Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr.'s alleged attack on his girlfriend at a New York City hotel left the woman with a fractured neck vertebrae and a cut above her right eye, prosecutors revealed at his arraignment Tuesday.
Porter, 23, is charged with felony assault and strangulation in connection with the incident Monday at the Millennium Hilton near the United Nations in Manhattan. He was not required to enter a plea during his brief court appearance.
Porter, who had been in police custody since his arrest around 6:45 a.m. Monday, was ordered to post $75,000 cash or obtain a $100,000 bond to secure his release. He was also ordered to stay away from his girlfriend, former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick.
Porter is due back in court in Manhattan on Oct. 16. The Rockets are scheduled to play a preseason game that day in San Antonio, with their regular season tipping off about two weeks later.
A message seeking comment was left with Porter's lawyer.
According to a criminal complaint, Gondrezick told police that he punched her repeatedly in the face with a closed fist, cutting her above the right eye and causing bruising and substantial pain to her face.
Gondrezick said the NBA star also forcefully squeezed her neck with his hands, causing her difficulty breathing, redness and bruising to her neck.
Hospital testing showed that the woman, 26, sustained a fractured vertebrae in her neck, the criminal complaint said.
In a statement Monday, the Rockets said: "We are in the process of gathering information surrounding the matter involving Kevin Porter Jr. We have no further comment at this time."
Porter has played four seasons in the NBA - a tenure marked by on-court prowess and off-court problems.
Last year, Porter averaged 19.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game, earning a lucrative four-year extension with Houston, where he'd landed after wearing out his welcome in Cleveland.
In November 2020, while playing for the Cavaliers, Porter was arrested after police said they found a loaded handgun and marijuana in his car after a single-vehicle crash. Porter claimed he didn't know the gun was there, and his charges were eventually dismissed.
Porter, a 2019 first-round draft pick from USC, was traded from Cleveland to Houston a few months later after he reportedly blew up at the Cavaliers' general manager after finding out that his locker had been moved to make room for a newly acquired player.
In April 2021, the NBA fined Porter $50,000 for violating the league's COVID-19 health and safety rules by visiting a Miami strip club. In January 2022, the Rockets suspended Porter for a game after then-coach Stephen Silas said the player had a "spirited debate" and "lost his temper" at halftime.
Associated Press reporter Kristie Rieken in Houston contributed to this report."