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Blazers' Batum With Vicious Punch At Olympics
Written by AP Report    Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:14   

France's Nicolas Batum (L) is held back by officals after a hard foul in his game against Spain at their men's quarterfinal basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 8, 2012.                   REUTERS/Mike Segar (BRITAIN  - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT BASKETBALL) LONDON – After France's Nicolas Batum delivered a vicious punch to the groin of Spain guard Juan Carlos Navarro, Batum left no confusion over his intentions.

"I wanted to give him a good reason to flop," Batum said.

Batum was angry with the Spanish guards for falling to the floor for what he believed was incidental contact throughout Spain's 66-59 quarterfinal victory over France at North Greenwich Arena.

Asked by Yahoo! Sports if he believed his punch to the groin had given Navarro "good reason," Batum smiled and said, "I hope so."

[ Photos: Team USA goes for Olympic gold ]

France's coaches and several players believed Spain intentionally lost a final preliminary round game  Monday in which Spain blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead to Brazil. The loss allowed Spain to face France in the quarterfinals, and would potentially keep it away from the powerful United States until the gold-medal game.

Asked if he was convinced that Spain had taken a dive in the fourth quarter of the game with Brazil, Batum told Yahoo! Sports, "They did what they had to do."

When told that some won't think that a deliberate punch to the groin is in the Olympic spirit, Batum said, "Do you think if you lost a game on purpose, that's the Olympic spirit?"

Batum signed a four-year, $45 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers this summer.

 

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