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Russell Westbrook receives technical for inadvertent groin kick (vid)

russell-westbrook-caldwell-pope

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was understandably befuddled after he was assessed a technical foul for what by all appearances seemed to be an inadvertent kick to the groin of Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The play in question occurred during the Thunder’s 104-88 loss to the Pistons on Monday night at The Palace. With the Pistons holding a commanding lead late in the second quarter, Westbrook used some nifty dribbling to find some space for a jumper. As he rose in the air, Westbrook’s leg shot out, catching Caldwell-Pope square in the man parts.

With all the attention the NBA now places on kicks to the groin given Draymond Green’s antics last season, officials reviewed the play. Despite the case that can be made that Westbrook’s foot-to-the-groin was inadvertent at best, officials nevertheless decided to to call the technical on Westbrook.

Suffice to say, Westbrook wasn’t pleased with the outcome of the review.

Interestingly — and adding insult to injury — Caldwell-Pope was called for a foul on the play, giving Westbrook two free throws. Still, that didn’t stop Westbrook from issuing a sarcastic reaction after the game.

“Apparently I kicked him on purpose or something,” Westbrook said, via The Oklahoman’s Erik Horne.

ESPN’s Royce Young even chimed in on Twitter to criticize the call.

It makes sense that the NBA would prefer to limit groin kicks — purposeful or otherwise — in games. But in this case, it certainly seems that Westbrook wasn’t actually trying to catch Caldwell-Pope in the crotch with his foot. On the other hand, if it was on purpose, it was one heckuva blind shot.

[Ball Don’t Lie]