It certainly looks like Celtics rookie Marcus Smart deliberately and effectively connected with Matt Bonner’s nether regions Friday night. It felt overtly malicious on Smart’s part when you consider how much torque was put into the swing of his fist, too. You just don’t do this to another man’s nuts:
There was under nine minutes left in the game and the Spurs were in control when Smart went chasing Patty Mills around some perimeter screens. Instead of navigating the 6’10 235-pound Bonner, Smart punched him in the groin and the two exchanged words:
After a review of the play, Smart was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected. He finished with 10 points and four assists in 23 minutes. Smart spoke about the play with the Boston Globe‘s Gary Washburn, claiming he did not intentionally crack Bonner in that most sensitive of areas:
But Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he thought it was an unacceptable play: “You can’t do that, simple as that.”
The AT&T Center crowd started chanting Bonner’s name after he went face-to-face with Smart following the blow. Both Tim Duncan and Bonner loved their enthusiasm for Bonner after what transpired:
“I enjoyed that. I enjoyed that,” said Duncan, a huge smile on his face. “I know he did. He wasn’t in a laughing mood after what happened, but I know he did.”
Indeed, Bonner was touched and honored by the support.
“It meant a lot to hear the crowd chanting my name,” Bonner said. “It filled me with pride to be a Spur and to be able to play in front of such great fans.”
We’re guessing — even as Smart denies culpability for the act — the Celtics rook is losing some money after the league looks at the video.
(video via watchnba201415; vines via VinneyViner and Brian Robb)