An NBA game got physical on Monday night (Jan. 25). Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray delivered a blow that will make many wince. He punched fellow player Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks in the groin.
This wasn’t a love-tap either, but a full-blown uppercut that’s enough to make all the male audience members cross their legs. Referees subsequently ejected Murray from the game for his misconduct. But the damage had already been done.
The exchange happened during the third quarter of the matchup in Dallas. Murray became angry at Hardaway for bumping into him. His rage grew when officials failed to call a foul on Hardaway. So like a vigilante, Murray decided to take his quest for vengeance into his own hands.
Murray’s blow certainly drew the ref’s attention, who signaled a foul against the Nuggets. But, a subsequent video replay proved it had been no accident. Murray had committed the act intentionally, and officials ejected him from the game.
“Just playing the game and I guess he was just frustrated that they didn’t call a foul,” Hardaway Jr. told TMZ of the encounter “I was trying to do the best I can to deny the ball. The rest speaks for itself. It happens in the game. It sucks, but it doesn’t even matter at this point. We lost.”
Denver Nuggets Win the Game
Murray’s fit of rage was ultimately uncalled for, especially because the Nuggets took the victory. In a closely contested game, the Nuggets beat the Mavericks by four points, 117 to 113. Hardaway overcame the pain to prove a threat on the court. But his efforts weren’t enough to secure a victory.
Now Nuggets coach Michael Malone is worried about more disciplinary action. He said he hopes the NBA doesn’t come down on the team for Murray’s actions. He views it as a valuable learning experience for the athlete.
“Hopefully, it’s nothing more than Jamal being ejected tonight and we can use it as a learning experience,” Malone said.
Maybe, next time the athlete will keep his anger in check and avoid making any rash decisions next time that he’s on the court.