Chances are that if you’re not an avid NBA fan, a New Orleans Pelicans fan, or college basketball fan than you don’t know who Buddy Hield is.
The sixth overall draft pick in 2016 is struggling to find his way in the NBA during his rookie year. Averaging 8.9 points per game on 39.3 percent shooting, the sharp shooter from Oklahoma may finally have gotten some recognition throughout the league, it just may not be in the way he was hoping for.
During Sunday’s game in Sacramento against the Kings, Hield fought through a Demarcus Cousins screen while guarding Ben McLemore, who had the ball. Video shows Hield “punching” Cousins in the groin while trying to catch up to McLemore. After a foul was called, the refs went to video replay and decided the play was warrant of a flagrant-2 and an automatic ejection.
Now, as a player myself who has fought over, under, and through plenty of screens during my playing days, I have never once hit anyone below the belt like Hield hit Cousins. It’s just an unnatural basketball play/movement. I have also never been hit there either. It’s simply a dirty play.
Hield was known as a premier scorer in college, and he was hoping to make a name for himself the same way in the pros. However, his rookie year has not lived up to the hype and this is not the way you want to be known.
Although this is his first major offense, he is now going to be under the microscope by everyone. News like this travels fast among the league, and now refs, coaches, fans, the league and players will be keeping a close eye on him. If he comes anywhere close to low-blowing another screener, that player my not take kindly to it and just walk away. Refs are going to be forced to review any play that looks dirty and he may receive more flagrant fouls.
Come on Buddy, it’s the unwritten “Bro-Code,” you don’t hit another guy in the groin. EVER! It’s just down right wrong.
He can definitely overcome this incident. If his agent is smart, then he makes sure Hield issues an official apology to his teammates, his organization, the league, the fans, and most importantly to Boogie Cousins.
He is too young to be labeled as a dirty player and the league certainly doesn’t need two Draymond Greens. So Hield, here’s a little advice. Stop it! Fight through the screen like a normal player and put this incident behind you. Do not let it define your career and continue to work hard to become the true scorer that you are. Don’t become a dirty player.