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Video: Sixers’ JJ Redick kicks Ricky Rubio on the chin

JJ Redick, Ricky Rubio

Philadelphia 76ersJ.J. Redick received a contentious Flagrant 1 foul after kicking Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio in the face on a shot attempt. The incident occurred during the Sixers’ 113-107 win over the struggling Jazz.

Redick, while being guarded by Rubio, went up for a deep two-point shot while on the move, and managed to kick Rubio on the chin with his right leg. The kick appeared to be unintentional and was a result of Redick’s momentum shift during the shot.

However, the issue lies within the fact that Redick’s leg managed to hit the chin Rubio’s face. It could be safely argued that if he made contact lower on Rubio’s body, Redick may have only received a standard offensive foul, but it is very hard to justify the need to lift a leg that high, regardless of natural shooting motion.

This incident is just the latest in a recent trend of NBA players kicking their legs out on jump shots to draw fouls. Granted, Redick didn’t appear to be looking for a foul, however, it is an ugly look for the league where a player can so blatantly take advantage of rules that benefit the offense. This trend may have led to Redick being punished as strongly as he was.

It makes it even harder for defenders to make solid plays when there are already so many things to consider when guarding a player. Not only does it negatively impact the quality of the game, but more importantly, kicking out and jumping into players to draw fouls puts the offensive and defensive players in danger of being seriously injured. Fortunately, there has yet to be a serious injury resulting from this recent, league-wide inclination.

Rubio escaped what could have been a far more serious incident in a string of mischances and various injuries for him. While it was likely unintentional on Redick’s part, that doesn’t mean it isn’t unnecessary contact, and the referees made the right call.