Former NBA big man reveals that some dirty players will try to ‘grab your balls and squeeze’ when they box out

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read

A former NBA big man provided some interesting insight on what some players would do while trying to box out, saying they would “grab your balls and squeeze,” among other tactics.

“Oh man, I don’t know if it’s appropriate for me to say this, but they do a lot of things,” Marcin Gortat told HoopsHype. “I mean, you know, when people box out, they will try to grab your balls and squeeze. I swear to God, they do some crazy stuff.

Gortat appeared in 806 regular season games during his 12-season NBA career that included time with the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. He last played during the 2018-19 season for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The big man also went into what current Golden State Warriors point guard Chris Paul would do to incite a reaction from opponents.

“Imagine your first reaction is like, ‘Dude, what the hell?,'” said Gortat. “They smile, and then you’re attacking the guy. However, the referee most of the time doesn’t see the first move. They just see your reaction. So, and then you are screwed, because he sees your reaction. A lot of things happen on the basketball court. Chris Paul will grab your leg or punch you in the nuts too. It happens all the time. So when you set screens, you gotta cover up your nuts and lift weights to make sure your core is strong.”

He was able to average 7.9 rebounds per game despite dealing with what he describes as some difficult and physically challenging circumstances.

He named only one player specifically, claiming that Paul would do some questionable things while competing on the court. The Warriors guard does have a reputation for sometimes borderline play during his long NBA career. He interestingly landed with the Warriors after a testy history while playing against them with other teams.

Gortat managed to average 9.9 points per game. He shot an impressive 55.1 percent from the field during an NBA career that began in the 2007-08 campaign with the Magic.

Despite the physical abuse he also may have taken while setting screens, he did manage to play 82 games in three of his final four seasons with the Wizards. He also appeared in 86 NBA playoff games and helped the Magic reach the 2009 NBA Finals.

Questionable play and tactics have long been part of NBA lore but perhaps not so much lately. However, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has made headlines this season with some unsportsmanlike acts that have drawn suspensions from the NBA.

He was banned for five games in November after putting Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves in a chokehold. Green then was suspended indefinitely after he struck Jusuf Nurkic of the Phoenix Suns in the face in December. The ban was based on his “repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts.”

Former Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem said Green is targeting players “who really aren’t going to do nothing back.” He was reinstated by the NBA after serving a 12-game suspension. He returned to action on Jan. 15, his only appearance since his reinstatement.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.