Jamal Murray had a big night. He was attacking the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball‘s defense from the opening tip — the two had a couple of trash-talking exchanges — and Murray finished the game with 28 points including five threes, helping spark a late 15-0 run as the Nuggets beat the Lakers in Denver.
Then, with time running down and up 13, rather than do the traditional close out of the game and just dribble it out, Murray broke the unwritten rule, decided to taunt Ball one last time and dribbled around him.
Lonzo didn’t seem to care, but a couple of teammates did and quickly fouled Murray. After the game Murray admitted, “I may have taken it too far. It was a bad play by me,” but that wasn’t going to stop the hate from Lakers fans who don’t like to see the “savior of the franchise” (at least that’s how he was hyped) clowned.
Was what Murray did the mature, classy thing to do? No. Obviously.
But I have two other thoughts.
First, Ball had talked his share of smack during the game, and if you’re going to dish it…
Second, if you don’t want to get clowned, play better. This is not U6 AYSO soccer where everybody gets a trophy, this is the highest level of the sport. Ball had a triple-double the first time these teams played, Murray came out fired up this time around. That’s hoops. If you want to stop somebody from taunting/clowning you, then stop them. Otherwise, it’s fair game.