Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka was fined $25,000 this week for striking Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin in the groin during Sunday’s match-up between the two teams.
The unsportsmanlike low-blow, which was called a Flagrant Foul 1 on the floor and later upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 upon league office review, occurred with 1:52 remaining in the fourth quarter as Ibaka and Griffin were battling for rebounding position following a missed three-point attempt.
On the play, Serge hammer punches down toward Griffin’s midsection, making clear contact with Griffin’s groin. After the hit, Griffin collapsed to the floor, writhing in pain.
During a postgame interview, Serge Ibaka defended himself, saying that the hit wasn’t intentional.
“If you can see the replay, you can see he grabbed my jersey first so I wanted to try to defend myself, (but) not to hurt him.”
The NBA announced the Ibaka’s fine on Tuesday, adding that the OKC big man would not be suspended for his actions.
“I’m excited that he’s playing tonight,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday. “He’s a big part of what we do. I respect the league’s decision and the review process they go through. I respect it and move on. It’s nothing that we worry about.”
Despite the NBA’s questionable decision to not suspend Ibaka, Blake handled the incident with flying colors, taking to Twitter to post the following:
“Kid Blake: Who are you? Future Blake: you from the future…” Griffin posted, referencing a Kia commercial in which he time travels to address his younger self. “Don’t listen to anything else I’ve told you just start wearing a cup.”
Watch Serge Ibaka‘s groin punch on Blake Griffin in the clip below and let us know: Do you think Ibaka intentionally tried to injure Griffin or was the OKC big man just battling for position?