In a matter of minutes, Nicolas Batum went from frustrated, to defeated, to scorned on Twitter, to apologetic on Wednesday night.
But he can't escape the footage from the 2012 Olympics in London.
With 24 seconds left in France's quarterfinal game against Spain, Batum went to foul Juan Carlos Navarro and essentially used a closed fist to give Navarro a low blow to the groin.
The Portland Trail Blazers small forward was given an unsportsmanlike foul but was not ejected from the game, which went in Spain's favor, 66-59, to advance to face Russia in the semifinals.
A day later, he'll have to move on from the backlash as the video clip rolls on.
It's unclear if Batum's frustration came from Spain's constant flopping (cue Rudy Fernandez) or the fact that France played a terrible fourth quarter and let the game get away from them. Likely, the combination of the two contributed to Batum's out of character shot on Navarro.
It was after all not Batum's best game of the Olympics. Batum struggled for 32 minutes despite finishing with 9 points and 5 rebounds.
A frustrated Batum only added fuel to the fire after the game.
"I wanted to give him a good reason to flop," Batum said when asked about the hard foul on Navarro.
"I'm angry because we wanted to bring back something to our country. We deserve it much more than them."
Those who have covered Batum during his time in the NBA know deeply the actions against Spain and the words that followed don't accurately describe Batum. He's more humble and not prone to hitting. He chooses his words carefully and doesn't let fire spill over from losses into column quotes.
Batum then took to Twitter to issue a formal apology.
"I want to apologize for my stupid act at the end, I showed a bad image of France and myself, Congrats to team Spain."
Those words hold weight. But is it too late? Even after he Tweeted those words, a number of fans online questioned the sincerity.
Will his strike against Navarro hold a lasting impression about Batum around the NBA as the 2012-13 draws near?
Fans in Portland keep clamoring for Batum to take his game to the next level, but this version of Batum probably isn't what Rip City had in mind.
|Follow us on Twitter|