The Nut Shot: Olympic Basketball's New Proportional Response
It's a concept that has been woven into the fabric of many sports since time immemorial. The methods are often painful, sometimes barbaric, but within each game they're understood and largely effective.
In baseball, violation of the hallowed "unwritten rules" will often earn a player (or a teammate) a fastball in the rib cage or other assorted torso parts. In hockey, fighting is allowed in moderation (with modest in-game penalties) to prevent players from using their sticks to dislodge eyeballs from their opponents' skulls when things get chippy. Football is so physical that every play of every game kind of polices itself.
Of the major sports, basketball has always been the outlier when it comes to the need for and execution of some sort of internal "payback" system. However, these 2012 Olympics seem to have solved that little problem.
The basketball world has come together in London and apparently decided that their sport's policing system will basically amount to the blatant clubbing of the other guy's balls with a closed fist.
Eye for an eye, nut for a nut.
It started Monday night when Argentina's Facundo Campazzo decided that the best way to try and douse the flames of a 43-point United States third quarter was to bury his right fist into Carmelo Anthony's taint after Melo dropped a three-pointer to close out the third quarter:
Campazzo's testicular assault on Anthony touched off a wave of technical fouls, ignited some spirited verbal jousting and caused U.S. Coach Mike Krzyzewski to ratchet the "snivel level" of his angry rat face up to 14 on a scale of one to ten.
It was ironic on many levels that Coach K would be the one sporting the extra-pucker sourpuss after this incident because 1) it was actually Chris Paul who allegedly gave Campazzo's family jewels a drive-by earlier in the game (Paul has a history of this type of behavior), and 2) if the plucky, diminutive Campazzo had ever decided to take his talents to American college basketball, he would have been the prototype Duke point guard -- annoying, spunky and (I'm assuming) chronically leg-humping.
Secretly, somewhere deep below that whiny, bitchy exterior, Mike Krzyzewski loves Facundo Campazzo. Loves him.
So Campazzo's was nut-shot incident number one. Number two took place Wednesday morning when, in the waning moments of Spain's 66-59 win over France, French guard Nicolas Batum literally wound up and unleashed a fist of fury on Spanish point guard Juan Carlos Navarro's church bells: