There are a lot of different ways to be an annoying guy in the NBA. Constantly complaining about foul calls is an easy one, doing it so often and dramatically that you end up with a recognizable signature complaint—think Draymond Green speedwalking to the other end of the court, Nikola Jokic fouling a guy on purpose just so he can complain more, LeBron James pawing at his head as if there should be blood pouring out of it—is another. But only a select few have what it takes to become something far more agitating: the kind of guy who would punch another guy in the nuts.
Luka Doncic, welcome to the club:
That earned Doncic a Flagrant 2 foul and an ejection from yesterday’s game against Cleveland. It also earned him a lowlight that will, no matter what else happens, stick with him for the rest of his career. Draymond Green is one of the greatest defensive players of all-time and a three-time NBA champion. He’s also the guy who thwacked LeBron James right in the berries in the Finals and launched a violent karate kick into Steven Adams’s groin. Chris Paul is a basketball genius, and also the guy who launched a sneak attack on Julius Hodge’s beans. Nicolas Batum? A shameless groin assaulter. Reggie Evans? I dare not even think about it.
The point is, once you’ve directed a fist at an opponent’s balls on a basketball court, people aren’t going to forget that. Doncic isn’t helped by the fact that he’s already earned himself a reputation as one of the NBA’s preeminent whiners. Tied for the league lead in technical fouls with 15, Doncic is just one more tech away from earning a one-game suspension. During an interview after a game last week, he even admitted that he has to stop complaining so much:
To which I say: Forget about that, Luka! There is no sense in trying to deny your true nature anymore. Once you’ve crossed the rubicon that is whacking a guy in the dick and balls, there’s no sense in turning back and trying to be anything other than a heel. The best thing to do at this point is just embrace it. Go out there this week and get that 16th technical, maybe kick another guy in the nuts while you’re at it, and then chew out a reporter or two afterwards. The NBA can always use a few more villains, and Green is too busy auditioning for a post-career studio gig to be a good one these days. Now it’s your time to step up.