A meaningless final group game between the U.S. and Argentina Olympic basketball teams turned into a blame game with each of the rivals accusing the other of taking cheap shots at each other with the most visible low-blow being directed at Carmelo Anthony's crotch.
During the final seconds of the third-quarter — and the U.S. holding a comfortable 102-76 lead over their rivals— little Facundo Campazzo hit Anthony between the legs as the All-Pro forward drained a three-point shot.
Campazzo— who is the backup to the Knicks newly signed free agent Pablo Prigioni— claims that he did not intentionally hit Anthony.
After the game, Campazzo accused U.S. point guard Chris Paul of punching him in the first half.
The referees didn't see Campazzo's shot to Anthony's cojones, but the U.S. bench sure did and— along with coach Mike Krzyzweski former-Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni— yelled in protest.
While Anthony was crumpled on the floor in obvious pain, a few U.S. players went after Campazzo and had to be pulled away.
"He got hit in the groin," said coach K. ""That's why he buckled over. He wasn't celebrating the shot."
"We saw it all," said Anthony's Knick teammate, Tyson Chandler. "It was a cheap shot. He hit him in an area where you don't want to get hit. We all represent our countries. This is the Olympics. You never want to go like that."
Paul denied punching the diminutive Campazzo and later Kobe Bryant took matters into his own hands and scolded the Argentine player in Spanish by telling him "it was wrong."
Campazzo apologized to Bryant for the confusion but not to Anthony.
The U.S. went on to rout Argentina, 126-97, and finished 5-0 in group play. They will meet Australia in the quarterfinals and are on course for a showdown with the winner of the Brazil-Argentina game.