The NBA’s first week featured Stephen Curry throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of a referee, a coach firing, DeMarcus Cousins shouting at a fan, “F*** you, b****,” a tweeted trade demand, Draymond Green bullying a rookie, a fake tough guy fight, and a reckless driving charge against J.R. Smith, among other fines and ejections, so just about everyone is already in midseason form.
The only thing we were missing to be sure 2017-18 was in full swing was a nut tap, and now we have one of those, too, courtesy of the age-old sporting rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.
A few minutes into the third quarter of Utah’s 96-87 win over Oklahoma City on Saturday, Aussie Jazz wing Joe Ingles punched Kiwi Thunder big man Steven Adams in the plums while passing by the post:
NBA season official now that we've had our first nut tap. Here's the bump of Steven Adams' bollocks that earned Joe Ingles a $15K fine. pic.twitter.com/oIrmXsqnXl
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) October 24, 2017
The jab at his jewels came just before OKC’s Paul George committed a turnover, and Ingles swung his momentum through Adams’ stones into transition, where he got behind the defense for a layup. That drew a timeout from Thunder coach Billy Donovan, and just in case you thought and hand to the huevos was how Australians and New Zealanders greeted each other, Adams let his displeasure with Ingles be known, bumping the Jazz man by the shoulder and earning a technical foul in the process.
Ingles’ blow to Adams’ boys went largely unnoticed in the course of Saturday’s game action, so the post-layup shoulder bump seemed to come out of nowhere, but now that the NBA has issued a $15,000 fine to Ingles “for making contact with the groin area of” Adams, it makes all the sense in the world. In fact, as one astute Twitter follower reckoned, “Why doesn’t Steven Adams get that money?”
This is not the first time Adams’ apples were a target of an opponent. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green kicked Adams in the cojones during the 2016 Western Conference finals … twice:
The NBA’s history of pebble-pounding is a long one, but no player’s marbles have taken more of a beating than Adams’ — so much so that he considered wearing protective gear “due to the consistency of the hits,” and the league actually made the groin a point of disciplinary emphasis as a result.
Here's Steven Adams talking about the NBA reviewing groin shots closer: "I actually thought it was a joke." pic.twitter.com/7TuYpmx4wG
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) September 25, 2016
Even then, Adams’ taters weren’t safe, as Victor Oladipo ran full speed into the OKC center’s spuds last year. “That’s not good,” he said. “Did you know it was my own teammate that did it? Oh, my goodness.”
A re-watch of Ingles’ swing reveals nary a reaction by Adams, which means he finally opted for some protection or he’s so used to taps on his twins, that he’s just unfazed by them now. Either way, shouts to the Kiwi for his toughness, and hey NBA players, how about not hitting him in the nuts anymore?
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