Batum Reveals Childish Temperament
NBC and the Olympic Committee keep pulling these down, we’ll try to keep a working link here. –ed.
When did punches to the groin become a fashionable part of basketball? And didn’t we just see this a couple days ago? In a 126-97 United States victory over Argentina, Carmelo Anthony was sucker punched in the groin by Facundo Campazzo, which was really a punk move, but looked innocent and sheepish in a way.
Campazzo’s didn’t seem as if were intended with malice but more like little brother giving-in knowing there’s no other way to win, so alas, the good ole sucker punch to the you-know-where.
Just a day later, and without what seemed to be any regard for discretion, Portland TrailBlazers’ forward, and Team France representative, Nicolas Batum angrily took a swing and direct shot at the groin of the Spanish player Juan Carlos Navarro in a 66-59 loss by France to team Spain.
The way Batum looked in the video, you would think he was going to punch Navarro in the face and square up with him for 12 rounds, but it wasn’t even that serious apparently.
“I wanted to give him a good reason to flop,” Batum told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
It’s curious as to why Batum would get so angry towards a player far less talented than himself. Navarro is not NBA-talented, yet still was able to get under the Frenchman’s skin.
Batum should have been more worried about his so-so Olympic performance, especially after a 3-of-12 outing and his embarrassing mental mishap as the game came to a close. The Blazers as an organization most likely prefer leaders in comparison to followers, and Batum even though he apologized via Twitter, should be rightfully disappointed in himself for repeating what we had just seen only hours prior.
I want to apologize for my stupid act at the end, I showed a bad image of France and myself, Congrats to team Spain.— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) August 8, 2012
Not in a way as if to chastise him but in the way that Batum should have been more than proud to exemplify the’ I’m bigger than that’ mantra when simply talking about flopping—a necessary nuisance to the game. Then again, this is a 23-year old that maybe through his contract extension, has what could be a newfound ego.
Batum recently earned himself a contract worth $45-million dollars over four years, and the Blazers were seemingly in a fight over his services with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Batum was outspoken in his thoughts about Team USA in a France opening loss and after an incident like this, it’s a wonder if his recent financial reward is leading him down a different path.
But come on Batum, are you for real? Juan Carlos Navarro? Things like that have to be brushed off and it’s only a wonder now if you have jeopardized a part of your career in the Olympic games. Maybe the NBA can’t do anything about this, as far as a suspension, but there may not be another Olympics depending on what the committees can enforce.
And what do new general manager Neil Olshey, newly hired head coach Terry Stotts and the rest of the Blazers front office think about this?
Either way it seemed weak on the part of Batum to retaliate in such dramatic fashion for someone flopping, which although annoying is a laughable defensive tactic.