Five-Ring Circus

Loinsanity!: There Is an Epidemic of Groin-Punching in Olympic Men’s Basketball

Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum manhandles Juan Carlos Navarro.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

In the U.S. basketball team’s final preliminary-round game against Argentina, Carmelo Anthony nailed a three pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to give Team USA a 26-point lead. A second after the ball left Anthony’s hand, Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo nailed something as well: the Knicks forward’s groin. As this video shows, Campazzo casually extends his right arm into Anthony’s crotch region as he races by the scene of the crime. No foul was called for Campazzo’s foul play.

“Nobody takes cheap shots like that [in the NBA],” an enraged Anthony said after the game. Kobe Bryant added that the Argentina guard confessed to him: “I said, ‘You don’t do that,’ and he said, ‘I know.’ ” Campazzo, though, did not apologize to Anthony, explaining that Chris Paul had not apologized for nailing him in the nethers earlier in the game.

This would be a totally crazy accusation, except that Paul is a known groin puncher, as seen in this video from his Wake Forest days. Look out, Julius Hodge!

Today, the Olympic groin-punching epidemic spread beyond North and South America. In France’s quarterfinal loss to Spain, Frenchman Nicolas Batum crotch-chopped Juan Carlos Navarro. After the game, Batum told Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Spanish players were flopping all game long. “I wanted to give him a good reason to flop,” said Batum, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.

In addition to the in-game flopping, Batum was mad that Spain took a badminton-style dive in pool play, saying it violated the “Olympic spirit.” In its final preliminary game against Brazil, the Spaniards were outscored 31-16 in the fourth quarter to lose by six. This come-from-ahead loss—which the Spaniards denied was intentional despite it obviously being intentional—allowed Pau and Marc Gasol and co. to avoid a potential match-up with Team USA until the gold-medal game.

Though Batum later tweeted an apology for his “stupid act,” perhaps his groin-based brand of vigilantism is the solution to the London Games’ tanking problems. Be warned, Olympians: If you lose intentionally, the Groin Lantern will be there, ready to punch you in the junk.