Chris Paul Reportedly Could Be Fined or Suspended for Groin Hit on Kevin Durant

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2016

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 12:  Kevin Durant #29 (L) and Chris Paul #23 of the 2015 USA Basketball Men's National Team laugh during a practice session at the Mendenhall Center on August 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul could reportedly face punishment from the NBA for his shot to the groin on Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported Thursday the incident, which he described as a "love tap," could result in a fine or one-game suspension.

Here's the moment in question from Wednesday night, via The Cauldron:

The Cauldron @TheCauldron

Meanwhile, Chris Paul whacked Kevin Durant in the groin https://t.co/ZqM1VQXZHB

The hardest part for the NBA in potentially handing out a punishment would be determining the intent. The play happened so quickly. After Paul faked a shot, he headed toward the wing and brushed off the defense from Durant, catching him in the midsection.

It could have been an accident during the run of play, but Durant reacted immediately as Paul got free, and the 30-year-old knocked down an uncontested jumper.

Last April, Paul was involved in a similar situation. He was battling Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Kaman for a rebound under the basket when he delivered a shot to the groin, which led to a shove from Kaman and then a standoff between the teams.

In 2005, Paul was suspended for one game while playing for Wake Forest after a low blow to North Carolina State's Julius Hodge. After that incident, CP3 claimed it was an accident, per WRAL: "I don't believe I popped him. It was just the heat of the game. I've got too much respect for him to try to pop him on senior night."

Ultimately, if the NBA is going to punish Paul for the shot to Durant, that background information is likely to come into play. There's a history of similar moments.

Oklahoma City won 120-108 in the battle of Western Conference contenders. Durant tallied 30 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists while playing nearly 36 minutes. Paul had 12 points, 16 assists and five steals in the loss.

If Paul is suspended, he could miss the team's clash with the New York Knicks on Friday night.


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