Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said he would give Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston the ‘benefit of the doubt’ after his low blow.
The incident came in the third quarter with Nowitzki posting up his rival, only for the Warriors star to reach between his legs and strike him around the groin area.
After a replay review, Livingston was assessed a flagrant foul 1 and while he insisted that he didn’t mean to hit the Mavs veteran in that sensitive area, it appears as though Nowitzki is taking his word.
“Well, I give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s really not that type of player,” he said, according to ESPN, after the Mavs’ 123-110 loss to the Western Conference leaders.
“He hasn’t been his entire career. I’m not really sure what he was trying to do there, if he was trying to get to the ball through my legs or anything. But like I said, he’s not a dirty player. He’s actually a really, really good dude, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.”
In contrast, both Mavs coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban were less forgiving and questioned the play and how Livingston would have put himself in that situation to try and steal the ball.
Cuban revealed his belief that the league may take another look at it, but he stopped short of calling for a suspension as things will undoubtedly calm down in the coming days.
Livingston was booed by the home crowd every time he touched the ball after the incident, but he continued to plead his innocence after the game and had a brief discussion with Cuban to clear up the matter.