Rockets’ Kevin Porter charged with felony assault, broke girlfriend’s neck vertebra prosecutors say

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Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. appeared before a judge in New York City and was formally charged with felony assault and strangulation following an attack on his girlfriend that left her bloodied from a deep cut on her face and a fractured neck vertebra, prosecutors said.

While Porter was in the courtroom Tuesday, he did not have to enter a plea. He was released from police custody after posting a $75,000 bond and was ordered to stay away from his girlfriend, former WNBA player and free agent Kysre Gondrezick.

“This is a serious domestic violence case,” Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Mirah Curzer said to the judge, via the Associated Press.

“We are in the process of gathering information surrounding the matter involving Kevin Porter Jr. We have no further comment at this time,” the Rockets said in a statement. The NBA confirmed it is monitoring the legal proceedings as well.

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The incident occurred early Monday morning at the Millennium Hotel in Manhattan, according to NBC News New York. Porter and Gondrezick had been out in the city, returned to the hotel and she went up to the room. When he came up later he was locked out, and the incident began there, with hotel security becoming involved and eventually the police.

According to the criminal complaint prosecutors filed, Porter punched Gondrezick with a closed fist multiple times — leaving her bloodied and with a long gash over her eye — and then put his hands around her neck to strangle her, leaving bruises. X-rays showed a fracture to a vertebrae in her neck, prosecutors said.

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Porter is due back in court on Oct. 16, when the Rockets are in training camp and have a preseason game scheduled. While the NBA has not allowed the Rockets to suspend Porter while the team and league conduct an investigation, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, there is little chance he will not be suspended and kept away from the team at the start of camp. He is likely kept away from the Rockets until the case — and any potential punishment — are resolved (and he may never rejoin Houston). When the Hornets’ Miles Bridges was charged last year in a domestic violence case — he eventually pled no contest — he was away from the team for the entire season, unpaid, and was ultimately suspended 30 games, with 10 of those games continuing into the start of this season.

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Porter, 23, has had disciplinary issues with the NBA in the past, including being suspended for contact with a referee, and he was arrested in 2021 on firearm and marijuana charges after a one-car accident. Porter averaged 19.2 points and 5.7 assists a game for the Rockets last season and signed a four-year, $63.4 million extension with the team last October, however, only this coming season is fully guaranteed ($15.9 million). After that, the Rockets could let him walk for $1 million.

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