Near the end of the third quarter of last night's Warriors vs. Trail Blazers game, Anderson Varejao and Gerald Henderson decided to spice things up. Or, really, Varejao decided to spice things up, Henderson took umbrage, and then things got weird from there on out.
As you can see above, Varejao comes across the lane, gets bumped by Henderson, flops, and also sends out a little kungu-fu-how-ya-do, tripping Henderson. As soon as it happened, Henderson bounced up, pointing and yelling, and got ALL up in Varejao's face. Sure, this is all fairly normal. A player with a reputation of somewhat shady on-court doings does something a little shady on-court. The opposing player responds in kind.
But, have you ever seen two players ejected three full minutes of game time later, especially when one of those players is sitting on the bench?
1.) Why is Varejao pulling out Mortal Kombat leg swipes on the court?
2.) Why did they keep chirping at each other for an eternity afterwards, eventually leading to this strange double ejection?
3.) Why did Monty McCutchen feel emboldened to the point of calling the fateful double technical from 30 feet away?
4.) Will there by retribution, and how closely will the refs be watching Varejao if he plays in tomorrow's game?
Luckily, the internet exists (as opposed to, say, fifteen years ago), and so those of us on twitter were able to make jokes and have a little laugh.
Refs did us a favor by removing Varejao as an option for Kerr tbh— Killjoy™ (@KilljoyGSW) May 1, 2016
Lol, Varejaos game was just super, super weird.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) May 1, 2016
bruh waving his towel to the crowd what is this— Andy Liu (@AndyKHLiu) May 1, 2016
Ryan Mourton blamed the Warriors for Andy's bad behavior, apparently forgetting those eleven and a half long seasons in Ohio.
What are they teaching him out there https://t.co/MpnNEwXUyN— Mourt Goldman (@Ryan_Mourton) May 1, 2016
Obviously, what Anderson did was unnecessary and dangerous. If an opposing player had done that to, say, Shaun Livingston, Warriors fans would be up in arms, calling for blood. However, therein lies the nature of homerism. As it happened, I found it unsettlingly easy to laugh and joke, especially seeing as Henderson was okay. But as a fan of a team whose MVP has fragile bones and knee-parts, it's imperative to remember that injuries can be sustained in strange, quick moments such as that. Henderson knows that all too well, which was why he was so deeply upset with Varejao.
Andy, stop with that leg swipe stuff! It's not a big deal you got tossed last night. Heck, I'm surprised you were even playing to begin with. But if the Trail Blazers feel disrespected -- if the series gets out of hand -- it might be all too tempting to resort to chippiness and pettiness. With Stephen Curry potentially making a return in Game 3 in Portland, the last thing we want is someone pulling out their own judo moves and taking him down.
Life is too short to endanger someone's career with a seemingly harmless trip. What if he'd broken his hip? Or what if he'd caught his wrist awkwardly and either badly sprained or broken it? Only so much can be planned for on a basketball court. There's no need to add unexpected wrinkles full of side kicks and trippings. Especially seeing what happened to Curry, where a freak accident almost ended his season, the last thing the Warriors want is to poke at and upset the Basketball Gods.
Let's keep it fair, and let's keep it above the belt.