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A brief history of NBA players kicking each other in the face/groin/wherever

It’s story time, via pictures.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Since the dawn of time, man has yearned to flail out his legs and kick his nearest human counterpart. See Thorg over there? Gently tending the prehistoric fire? As in, this fire existed before history, and therefore is a meaningless, utterly inconsequential fire—other than perhaps it was first fire, ergo, extremely meaningful, but we have no record of it so, whatever—anyways, see Thorg over there? Well, watch his counterpart Bjorg saunter over and—WHACK—a dome kick to the cranium.


Because humans love to flail. We love to kick. We love to exaggerate.

Here, let me give you a brief primer.

Wait, no, we should probably go further back.

Okay, wait. That wasn’t actually what I meant to show. I meant to highlight some sort of primeval lugs jumping about debating the foot’s worth as regards putting out a fire-grown-uncontrollable. Some sort of meeting of the minds circa BC 2,450. But, alas, there are no youtube videos from said era. We’ll have to use our imaginations.

So what is it, as humans, that draws us to kick?

Why do we we “kick the bucket?” “Kick the habit?” “Kick the tires?” to see if they are road-worthy? I mean...I guess if you forget to kick the tires, or if you can’t kick the habit, you’ll be doomed to kick the bucket? And when can we start kicking the cat?

Anyways, here’s a short history (in pictures) of NBA players kicking each other. I’m not condoning Draymond Green’s desire to kick dudes in the balls, or face, or wherever—in fact, I’d love for him to cease such activity, if purely so we can stop f’ing talking about it—but nevertheless, I find it important to remind the world that dudes have been kicking each other on court for awhile now and here are some pictures.

This picture is maybe my favorite picture of all time. It starts with the impeccable form of the kick itself. And then, of course, there’s the god-glorious-beautiful look on Mike Dunleavy’s face.

I mean, has there ever been a more pure, relevant, gorgeous picture ever snapped?

I think not.

Of course, when you watch the play in real time, you realize it was no big deal. Like, no big deal in the slightest.


Man, if I’d ever been that flexible—like, even once in my life—I would have been the ninja champion of the world. Kicking dudes right and left, just to prove a point.


To be fair, Bruce Bowen immediately runs back and tries to console the dude he just kicked in the face. He obviously feels bad. So, shit. Maybe this example doesn’t actually take the heat of Draymond.

Okay, moving on. Next (some more modern examples):

Let me say something real quick: I think Draymond is just trolling us all at this point. The kick has become his Turing Test to see if we care. Or, to see how deeply we will protect our nethers. Because, honestly, not much else makes sense.

So, I guess the lesson from all this is: If you’re thinking about kicking someone, maybe just fight a wild beast instead and use your fists? Also, animal rights activists, please don’t stalk my house.

So, again, here’s where I stand on the matter: I have never nor will I ever play professional basketball. I do not understand the physics involved, nor do I understand the physical toll that an 82 game (plus playoffs) season would enact upon my body. I do not know whether or not my leg would fly upwards like an overly-reactionary child getting hit below the knee with a rubber hammer at the doctor’s office.

But, I do feel like as we progress toward a more egalitarian society—as we try and climb our way out of our lizard-brain-mindedness (made harder by recent events)—we should try to, at the very least, stop kicking one another in the face/groin/wherever.

Can we sort of somewhat agree to that?

I won’t kick you if you don’t kick me?

This will be like the “Dead Poets Society,” except we’ll call it the “I Promise Not To Kick You in the Face/Junk/Wherever Society” otherwise know as the “IPNTKYitFJWS” which has a nice ring to it. Should I trademark that?

Anyways, be good to one another.

Happy Sunday.

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