Simply put, there are not many more dastardly tricks you can pull on a basketball court than smacking a dude on the nuts as he takes a jumper. Just ask Channing Frye how he felt after that dirty rotten scoundrel Kevin Garnett tapped the Rockies and he’ll agree. When a player is taking a jump shot, he shouldn’t have to worry about taking a slap to the balls.
So imagine everyone’s surprise when it happened during yesterday’s United States-Argentina game. In the Olympics, the world’s paragon of completely unimpeachable athletic integrity, no less. Shame on Facundo Campozzo for sullying the Games’ good name.
Lucky for us, the teams involved presented us with an effective and civilized game plan for addressing on-court nut shots.
STEP 1: Condemn the ball-slapper, as Team USA did. From the Chicago Tribune:
‘‘It was wrong,’’ Kobe Bryant (11 points in 21 minutes) said angrily of the jab. ‘‘We told him, ‘You don’t do that.’ ’’
Keeping things straightforward and to the point is the most important thing here. Saying “You don’t do that” might seem like a no doy situation to you, but sometimes that’s what the offending party needs to hear. Just address the situation face-to-face in an adult manner and you are halfway to remedying the problem.
STEP 2: Apologize for hitting another guy in the balls, as Facundo Campozzo did. From the Oakland Tribune:
“He socked Carmelo in the (groin) when he was shooting the ball,” Bryant said. “You can’t do that. He was wrong. I have a great amount of respect for Argentina and how hard they’ve played. But that was uncalled for, and I let him know. To his credit, he said, ‘It was my fault.’ “
Even though he suffered a momentarily lapse in non-nut-tapping judgment, Campozzo realizes that what he did was wrong and takes credit for his mistake. He’s right when he says “It’s my fault,” because there is literally no other way that one guy racking another guy can be interpreted, but it’s good to get that out in the open and start a dialogue that should hopefully help avoid an international incident.
As you can see, this is a fairly simple plan for dealing with a player taking a shot to the junk. Quotes like “You can’t do that” and “It was my fault” prove that you don’t need a whole bunch of drama and anger when a guy decides to send his opponent on a one-way trip to Bangkok. Yes, it helps having an elder statesman like Kobe Bryant around to mediate the affair, but really all it takes is eight words broken up in to two sentences. Very easy.
However, there also exists an even easier plan for avoiding nut taps on the basketball courts. I present it to you with no further delay.
STEP 1: Don’t hit another guy in the balls.
That’s the whole plan. Keep that in mind any time you’re playing basketball and things should be fine.