God, this is so fucking embarrassing.
I am going to hold my nose and take a deep breath and summarize this as quickly as I can: In the closing seconds of the one-sided beatdown the Golden State Warriors put on the Washington Wizards last night in Oakland, Wizards guard Brandon Jennings committed a flagrant foul by shoving Warriors center JaVale McGee as the latter attempted a three-pointer. Here’s that:
You see, Jennings, and at least some of his Wizards teammates, were mad—actually mad, Christ, can you fucking imagine—that the Warriors had not performed the insulting, demeaning mercies (pulling their stars once the outcome was beyond reasonable doubt; running out the clock instead of continuing to play basketball) typically associated with winning a blowout. They were mad at the Warriors for not patronizing them. I dunno, this might be the most embarrassed I’ve been, as a Wizards fan, since Nick Young was on the roster.
Here are some quotes from that Washington Post story linked up above that make me want to pull my face off and flush it down the toilet in shame. From Jennings:
“I mean, you’re already up 20 … and then for him to do it, it was kind of like ‘Come on. Chill out. Now you’re trying to embarrass us.’”
Yes. The Warriors were trying to embarrass the Wizards, one of the East’s few plausible Finals contenders, who beat the Warriors solidly a little over a month ago. They were rubbing it in. That is fine. The way to prevent it is by playing better basketball, not by appealing to unwritten rules of rout decorum.
Here’s John Wall:
“Whenever a team is up like that, you supposedly hold the ball and take a shot clock violation,” Wall said. “So what Brandon did … I think it was the right play. You don’t let nobody try to embarrass you and I think that’s what they were trying to do.”
I would like to submit that a team truly committed to the “don’t let nobody try to embarrass you” maxim might have played better defense in the 47-plus minutes that preceded McGee’s completely harmless three-point attempt, which differed in no meaningful way from if he’d chucked the ball into the rafters to burn off the last few seconds of clock. For that matter, if the Wizards do not like being embarrassed, mewling publicly about not having received sufficient mercy from their opponents is a curious way of showing it!
Here’s Bradley Beal:
“I think any other team in the league would’ve did the same thing. That’s like a basketball rule. You don’t shoot the ball, period. You take a turnover, if anything. Especially you’re up 20 … you’re not respecting the game. You’re just joking around shooting. And a three at that. [Jennings] had every right to foul him. That’s like a golden rule in basketball.”
[tunnels to core of earth]
[hides there in shame forever]
The logic here, as best I can assemble it, goes The Warriors were not respecting basketball because they continued playing it even after it became clear that their opponents were too shitty to give them a game. We were helpless babies and they should have treated us like it. That’s stupid. Stupid and embarrassing! I hate it!
The very worst part is, you know the Warriors are loving this. To whatever extent they were making a deliberate statement by leaving Steph Curry and Draymond Green in the game in the closing minutes, they could scarcely have hoped it would work quite this well: to prompt one of the top teams in the East to blow out the back of its diaper and then blame them for it. The Wizards have given a megaphone to that statement. They have highlighted it in fluorescent yellow. We fucked up one of the East’s top teams so bad its players tattled on us to mommy.
In my capacity as a person who does sports blogs for a living, NBA players giving heedless quotes about how their opponents are big meanies for stomping them too hard is the grade-A good shit. Mewl forever, pissbabies! On the other hand, in my capacity as a Wizards fan, I am going to wear a paper bag over my head for the rest of the month.