Roughly six weeks after France’s Nicolas Batum connected his fist to Juan Carlos Navarro’s crotch in the semis of the Olympic basketball tournament, the offending guard told a blogger at Trailblazers.com that he regretted committing the now infamous foul.
“What I’m mad about is what I showed to people about myself, what I showed about the game, about France, everything,” Batum confessed while somehow not apologizing for his actions. “I feel bad about it because that’s not me. I’m human. I lost it. I just lost it.”
Batum’s cheap shot came in the final minute of a 66-59 loss to Spain as the two teams were fighting for the right to get beat by LeBron and company. Batum needed to foul Navarro to extend the clock and turn the game into a free-throw contest, but instead he let his anger get the best of him, and probably sealed his team’s fate with the punch.
“You don’t want this type of action. I can’t do it,” Batum added. “You can’t see that on the court. If [FIBA] or the Olympics want to suspend me a couple games or fine me, I’m okay with that. I won’t say anything.”
Batum, 23, is typically mild-mannered, so his actions came as a shock to fans, teammates, and apparently himself. Some have suggested that Batum was tense over contract talks and a possible trade to Minnesota, though you could probably argue that the abbreviated season put every NBA player on edge. It’s probably more accurate to assume he just didn’t want or expect to lose. It happens to the best of us.
Please don’t ask for examples.