Groin shots aren't allowed anywhere. Not in the National Football League, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball -- hell, not even in World Wrestling Entertainment, unless the stipulation says otherwise. The National Basketball Association was faced with two groin shots in relatively close succession recently, one happening during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals and another happening during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. For the former, it was Dahntay Jones who committed the heinous act. Jones, who doesn't see regular minutes for the Cleveland Cavaliers, gave what many describe as a tap to the groin of Bismack Biyombo, center for the Toronto Raptors, during a scrap for a loose ball on a rebound. Biyombo went down on the court and stayed down well after the game was over. The league was hasty in punishing Jones as they decided to suspend Dahntay Jones for Game 4 of the series, a game that the Cavaliers went on to lose as the Raptors evened the series at two games a piece. Here is a look at the play.
The later, occurring at the 5:57 mark in the second quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors, happened when Draymond Green kicked Steven Adams in the groin. You can take a look at the play for yourself [if you haven't already seen it] below.
As you can see, Green's hit to the groin was much more, for lack of a better term, malicious than Jones'. Green was called for a Flagrant 1 at the time but remained in the game as the Thunder destroyed the Warriors to take a 2-1 series lead. Many were expecting and hoping Green would be suspended for Game 4 in the Western Conference Finals, which will be played in Oklahoma City. However, the league saw it differently and decided that they were not going to suspend Draymond Green, first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter.
The NBA will not suspend Golden State's Draymond Green for Game 4, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) May 23, 2016
Green would be fined $25,000 by the league, as well as seeing his Flagrant 1 foul upgraded to a Flagrant 2. Had it been called like that in the game, Green would have been immediately ejected from the contest. Many call upgrading the foul useless, which is not the case. Upgrading the foul to a Flagrant 2 is actually a smart move by the league as it increases Green's flagrant foul points, inching him closer to an automatic suspension should similar events transpire.
The league is being accused of showing favoritism to the Warriors, as Draymond Green is an integral part of the Warriors, both offensively and defensively. Dahntay Jones of the Cavaliers, on the other hand, is considered a role player/bench warmer for the Cavaliers, and he was suspsended. Many fans of the Thunder and around the league are rightfully upset at the fact that Green is not suspended for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
Oklahoma City has a chance to put a stranglehold on the series against Golden State by taking a 3-1 series advantage on their home court, and many agree that Green should not be a part of the contest, and they are right; Green should not be partaking in Game 4 as he should be suspended. There is nothing that either the fans or the Thunder can do about it now as the league's decision is final and cannot be argued. Many fans around the league and of the Thunder are pissed off, and you can be sure that many players and personnel of the Thunder are pissed off as well.
I'm excited that NBA players are now allowed to kick each other in the balls. Let's add this event to All-Star Weekend.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 24, 2016
Essentially, a $25,000 fine to Draymond Green is like a pat on the wrist, a wag of the finger, and saying in a disappointed tone 'Don't do it again, or else.' The Thunder are likely pissed off about the league's decision, and rightfully so; they should be. However, they need to channel their anger and not let it get the best of them. Instead, they need to use that anger as fuel -- fuel that will propel them to a smothering attack on both sides of the ball, much like we saw them instill in Game 3. They need to go out in Game 4 and from the get-go make a statement in front of their hometown fans. That statement will be to Draymond Green, the Golden State Warriors, and the entire National Basketball Association. They need to utilize their anger that they may carry and make it a detriment to Draymond Green and the Warriors. Don't stoop down to their level and don't retaliate in a childish way. As the saying goes, action speak louder than words, and they need their action to be this: winning.