It had been just over three months since I last looked up the Thesaurus.com entry for "groin" when writing about Draymond Green and the NBA. Welcome back, old friend.
The AP reports that the NBA has made its coaches, players and officials aware of the 2016-17 points of emphasis, which regard areas of officiating that the league focuses on year to year. Past areas have included flopping, flagrant fouls, and always, traveling.
But this year, Green has elicited his own rule emphasis based on his various assaults on the private parts of opponents in last year's playoffs.
NBA referees will be cracking down this season on the kind of hits to the groin area that resulted in Draymond Green's suspension during the NBA Finals.
The hits to the groin -- termed "unnatural acts" by the league -- are a point of emphasis after a number of situations involving Green during the postseason. The All-Star forward had a habit of flailing his arms or legs and a few times made contact with opponents in the groin area.by
Joe Borgia, the NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations, said players are no longer just swinging their arms in attempt to draw a foul when taking a shot.
"Now all of a sudden legs are coming out in different directions at weird times, they're coming higher," he said. "Well, for the protection of the players, we're going to stop it."
Green managed to avoid a suspension after kicking Steven Adams between the legs, but a swing to the reproductive organs of LeBron James in the Finals netted him a one-game suspension, helping the Cavs kick-start their comeback from down 3-1 to win the NBA championship over the 73-win Warriors.
In addition to the gonads emphasis, the league will also focus on something related to Steph Curry: allowing more movement off-ball. Curry was repeatedly held and bumped off-ball in the Finals, diminishing his ability even further after he suffered a sprained knee.
Finally, traveling is an area of emphasis for the league this year, as it is nearly every single season. NBA coaches have expressed frustration and skepticism over such alleged emphasis, saying the problem persists year after year. The AP reports that in particular, players moving after catching the ball on the outside and being run off the 3-point line without first dribbling will be particularly scrutinized.
The NBA season begins October 25th, with training camp starting next week.