You see NBA officials making some tweaks to the process of refereeing games just about every year. Certain aspects are emphasized, and particular attention is paid to situations and actions that the league feels should be handled better. This week, the referees have been told in their preseason meetings what to keep an eye on this year.
One thing that will be cracked down on this season? People getting hit in the groin.
While refs are also reportedly going to be focusing more on traveling (and it’s fair to be skeptical about how much good that’ll do), it’s the shots below the belt that are more noteworthy. And it appears Draymond Green was the driving factor behind this decision. In last year’s postseason, he was hitting guys in the junk with such an uncanny frequency that he was eventually suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
After the uproar about Green, the league is going to crack down on groin shots. Or as they call them, “unnatural acts.”
“All of a sudden legs are coming out in different directions at weird times,” said Joe Borgia, the NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations. “They’re coming higher. Well, for the protection of the players, we’re going to stop it.”
It seems odd that the NBA would have to be asked to emphasize cracking down on hits below the belt. You’d think groin shots would already be considered particularly important. But at least now players guarding Green can breathe a little bit easier.