John Wall grabbed a defensive rebound, sprinted the other way and scored to nearly ice a Wizards win.
But, down 113-110 with 13.7 seconds left, the Knicks still had a chance.
Carmelo Anthony passed to Courtney Lee, who – given the circumstances – had a good look at a 3-pointer from the corner. But Lee passed to Brandon Jennings, who turned the ball over, clinching Washington’s victory.
Why didn’t Lee just shoot?
He got spooked by Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe, who came onto the court and apparently sounded like a defender.
I’m looking at Oubre closing out next to me, and I’m hearing somebody right next to me saying, “I’m here. I’m here. I got your stunt. I got your stunt.”
And, so I don’t shoot it. I drop the ball, thinking it is going to be a double closeout. And then I try to make a play to Brandon, and I think he bobbled the ball a little bit, and that’s the end of the game.
But come to find out it was the assistant coach, not a player.
I thought it was one of their players because you’re getting ready to shoot – in my peripheral you see a body right there, and he’s saying, “I’m right here. I’m right here. I got your stunt.” Usually in basketball terminology, that’s we’ll switch or I am going to jump out. So, I shot-faked and drove. But I still should have shot the shot.
I don’t know if it was part of the defensive scheme for the coach to be out there and saying that and being on the floor standing next to me, but that happened.
We lost. I should have shot it.
Lee added, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
I think it’s something they [the NBA] need to take a look at
I loathe coaches crossing the sideline onto the court, and it happens way too frequently. It’s unsafe and detracts from the play on the court. Players should not have to worry, even subconsciously, about anyone but the nine other players in the game encroaching their space.
Lowe’s words elevated this instance into something bigger. His accompanying position well onto the court is, sadly, far too common.
If this is the turning point that causes the NBA to crack down on this awful sideline behavior, I’m all for it.