Serge Ibaka fined $25 K for groin shot on Blake Griffin
NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Stu Jackson announced the fine on Tuesday, which means Serge Ibaka will be in uniform when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight. That promises further drama Kobe Bryant point blank pledged to inflict pain on Segre Ibaka as well instead of doubling over in pain on the floor, if Ibaka took a shot below-the-belt shot on him.
"I probably would have smacked him in the mouth," Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said of Serge Ibaka’s groin shot on Monday. “I would have dealt with the pain afterwards.”
The league probably didn’t want to suspend Serge Ibaka in a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday night. Moreover, while Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was suspended back in December for a for a low blow to Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, due to his history for various on-court infractions Serge Ibaka doesn’t have a similar track record.
According to the NBA rulebook, the league determines the allocation of fines/suspension for a flagrant foul based on the following: severity of the contact, whether the player was made the foul on a legitimate basketball play, whether the player followed through on contact, likelihood of potential injury, severity of actual injury suffered and whether the foul led to an altercation.
After reviewing the play this week, the league also upgraded Serge Ibaka’s flagrant foul 1 (for contact deemed unnecessary) to a flagrant foul two, which is typically given for both unnecessary and excessive. This essentially means that Segre Ibaka should have been automatically ejected from the game, hence making it impossible for him to accomplish a couple of key plays down the stretch (including taking a free throw after drawing a foul on Blake Griffin) to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to Sunday’s win.
The incident occurred with 1:52 remaining in the fourth quarter, following Matt Barnes 3-pointer attempt. As Serge Ibaka and Blake Griffin battled for rebounding position in the paint, Ibaka grabbed Griffin’s right arm and chopped down towards his groin. A stunned Blake Griffin collapsed on the floor in pain, but Serge Ibaka remained in the game as the play went on after he was given a flagrant foul 1.
The Oklahoma City Thunder won 108-104 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.