Australian NBA star Ben Simmons could find himself in hot water with the league, after appearing to elbow opponent Kyle Lowry in the groin.
The Sixers star and Toronto point guard got tangled up under the basket during game three of their second-round playoff series.
An aggressive box-out from Lowry sent Simmons crashing to the floor in the second quarter, when Simmons then appeared to make contact with Lowry’s groin.
The Raptors guard collapsed to the floor, and could later be seen making his case with the nearest referee.
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) May 3, 2019
Disgusting low blow by Ben Simmons on Kyle Lowry.
— Omar Hersi (@HerciMerci) May 3, 2019
Wow what a dirty play by Ben Simmons punching Kyle Lowry in the groin and the refs missed it.
— Steven J Henrici (@SteveyStats24) May 3, 2019
Uhh Ben Simmons just punched Kyle Lowry in the balls
— No killer instinct Leafs (@brendalchuck) May 3, 2019
Here’s the iffy box out by Lowry and then Simmons elbow to the groin is low blow pic.twitter.com/aDhVLLLNU5
— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) May 3, 2019
Philadelphia and Toronto are tied at 1-1 in their best of 7 series, with the winner to progress to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Some NBA fans drew comparisons to the incident which saw Golden State Warriors antagonist Draymond Green handed a one-game suspension during the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Controversial playoffs continues for Simmons
Jared Dudley wasn’t necessarily a household name among NBA fans prior to the first round of the NBA playoffs.
But the Brooklyn Nets forward mate one hell of an impression when his team faced Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The increasingly chippy series was headlined by Dudley’s heel turn, sparked by his description of Simmons as an ‘average’ player in the half-court.
The Nets and 76ers went at each other hard after Brooklyn stunned the highly favoured Philadelphia in game one.
Simmons and co had the last laugh, winning the series 4-1.
Now, it appears Dudley has come back to Earth a little bit, paying respect to his to opponent in an interview with New York Times NBA reporter Marc Stein.
When asked if he regretted his comments about Simmons, Dudley answered honestly.
“I do wish I chose different words. I was breaking down how we were going to guard him — how you try to limit someone like Ben Simmons,” Dudley said.
“I was just trying to say that we would have our best success if we could get him in a half-court game.
“Should I have used the word ‘average’? Looking back on it, no. It was such a negative reaction after I said it that no one heard I also said he was elite in transition and an elite passer.
“But, you know, it happens. It’s the playoffs. And I understand the reaction. I understand how it goes.”