This may be the most bizarre way to get a technical foul I have ever seen. After a diligent search it turns out the words “wet Willy” do not appear in the NBA rule book, but the referees decided to “T” Delonte West up anyway for sticking his finger in Gordon Hayward’s ear during the Mavericks triple-overtime loss to the Jazz (a win that kept the Jazz’s playoff hopes alive).
In the second quarter after a missed Mavs shot the Jazz pushed the ball down the floor and West ran with Hayward on the break, got a little physical and pushed him and got called for the foul. Hayward walked away, West came up to him and gave him the “wet Willie.” Why? Why does Delonte do anything? Here is West’s explanation via the Salt Lake Tribune.
“I saw some lint in his hair, and I wanted to get it out for him. Seriously, we were like two warriors out there. But I forgot the NBA is a gentlemen’s game. They want us to battle and scrap, but they want us to do it nicely.”
Even in non-gentlemen’s games, if you stick your finger in a man’s ear you are in trouble. Hayward was mature and walked away. Imagine what would have happened if West tried that in a pickup game at Rucker Park. Delonte, this is why you’re not invited nice places like the White House.
In other news, back-to-back overtime losses for Dallas (remember Sunday against the Lakers) has dropped the Mavericks down to the seven seed in the West. The defending champions should be a team you want to avoid in the first round, but they are not really striking fear into anyone. Well, Delonte West does now. but for very odd reasons.
Spurs demolish Thunder to take Game 1 of second-round series
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
Hawks get another playoff shot at King James and Cavaliers
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
ESPN sources say the Warriors, meanwhile, plan to go outside the organization at season's end for a replacement to add to the current staff.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
Luke Walton's contract to coach the Lakers will be for five years and about $25 million.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.