Dallas Mavericks player Kristaps Porzingis was left with a bloodied face after a row with Russian-speaking fans of his former team descended into a fistfight in his Latvian home town, according to reports.
"You deserve beating in your ugly face!" the 2.21 metre (7ft 3in) former New York Knicks and current Mavericks player can be heard saying in a video made by an eyewitness.
According to news website irliepaja.lv, the attack was launched by fans of the Knicks at a nightclub in the town of Liepaja. The fans were reportedly disgruntled that Porzingis had left the team — he was traded to the Mavericks in January.
Porzingis, 23, received blows from a blunt object and in the video he can be seen with blood on his forehead and his T-shirt is ripped. He is clearly agitated and bystanders, including a group of women, are holding him back.
Before the police arrived, Porzingis reportedly chased the men, who were speaking Russian, out of the club.
"They hit me first, and then I received a direct hit from a flying chair, but everything will be OK," Porzingis later said in an audio recording.
"They attacked our group of friends and started to beat us, threatening all the surrounding people, but I was able to catch one of the hooligans and kick him out."
Police used pepper gas "to pacify two aggressive attackers" after Porzingis chased them into the street, the Sportacentrs.com website reported.
Police said an official investigation was underway and that two of the suspects were having treatment in hospital. Porzingis had not yet made a formal complaint, the police said.
Porzingis, considered one of the best European players in the NBA, was traded to the Mavericks on 31 January.
He spends the summer with his family in Liepaja.
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Updated Date: May 13, 2019 20:47:23 IST