When the Golden State Warriors attempt to close out the NBA Finals Monday night in Oakland, they’ll do so without sparkplug forward Draymond Green.
Green, as you may have heard, was suspended for Game 5 after punching Cleveland’s LeBron James in the groin region during the Warriors’ Friday night victory.
A punch to the groin is no picnic, of course. But if the intent is to display a physical dominance over an opponent while simultaneously jabbing a knife into the gut of sportsmanship, there are ways to do it that might even be worse than the ol’ crotch-punch.
1. The Bat Flip. This taunt — baseball’s answer to the middle-finger — gained widespread attention last season when Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, following a home run in the American League Divisional Series, sent his bat skyrocketing in a show of one-upsmanship. From there, its legend only grew. On Sunday, Boston College found itself on the wrong end of a bat flip when the University of Miami’s Edgar Michelangeli hit a grand slam to give the Hurricanes a 9-3 lead in the team’s Super Regional matchup — then carried his bat halfway down the first base line before chucking it skyward. As you might imagine, the benches cleared.
2. The Bite. Sure, in the real world, biting is an activity enjoyed mostly by toddlers. But in soccer, apparently, it’s just a quirky thing players do to each other sometimes. Back in 2014, Barcelona’s Luis Suárez was disciplined for feasting on an opponent during a World Cup match. And in March, Chelsea’s Diego Costa was caught taking what looked to be a bite out of an Everton opponent’s neck. (In the second case, both players later said no bite actually occurred).
3. The Finger-Wag. Having your shot blocked is demoralizing enough. Having a 7-foot behemoth wagging his finger in your face afterward is particularly unpleasant. The move made famous by longtime Denver Nuggets big man Dikembe Mutombo became — for a while anyway — one of basketball’s ultimate taunts. “No,” the finger-wag seemed to say. “No way.”
4. The Poop Ball. It’s a taunt as old as time. You catch a three-yard touchdown pass — like Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin did against the Patriots in Super Bowl 49 — and then you crouch down and pretend to “release” the ball from your backside. Classic move. Although it’s even more classic if your team doesn’t proceed to blow a 10-point third-quarter lead and lose the game in about the most demoralizing way possible.
5. The Field-a-Splintered-Piece-of-Baseball-Bat-and-Then-Throw-It-at-the-Batter-as-He’s-Running-to-First. Tough to top this one: 2000 World Series, Game 2, first inning. The Mets’ Mike Piazza hits a broken-bat foul ball, sending a chunk of his bat flying toward the mound. Yankees’ pitcher Roger Clemens, apparently taking offense to this completely random and unintentional turn of events, picks up the jagged piece of bat and fires it toward Piazza. All’s well that ends well, though. The broken bat was reportedly sold at auction in 2014 for nearly $50,000.
Dugan Arnett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.