Up more than 20 points with less than three minutes left against the Dallas Mavericks, Warriors rookie Jordan Bell threw the basketball off the backboard, caught it, and threw down a thunderous dunk. It was an impressive display of coordination and leaping ability.
Many of the Warriors appreciated the slam dunk. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant’s reactions to the play are hilarious.
But not everybody sees it that way.
In basketball, it has long been an unwritten rule to stay away from outlandish plays in garbage time that may be interpreted as disrespect. A few of the Warriors’ veterans, Shaun Livingston and David West, were a little uncomfortable with the play.
Draymond Green, in many ways a mentor for the young Bell, had no complaints about the play. In fact, he took the discussion as an opportunity to praise the rookie.
You want to throw it off the backboard, feel free and dunk the ball,” Green said. “He got the And 1. It’s a great play. I don’t got no message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. That’s what he did.
I don’t get up into the whole ‘They’re winning by this much, that’s bad.’ Says who?Dunk the ball. What was the difference if he threw it off the backboard and dunked, as opposed to grabbing it and dunking it? It’s a dunk. I don’t get off into that play. Great play. Amazing. Did you see it? It was dope. He got an And 1 too.
Coach Steve Kerr, however, had to act as a diplomat to the Mavericks. Apparently, his apology to Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was rebuffed.
Steve Kerr tried to apologize to Rick Carlisle postgame about the Jordan Bell dunk, Carlisle zipped right past, displeased.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 24, 2017
Now, this entire situation is ridiculous.
First of all, apologizing for a cool dunk is a legitimately weird idea. Second, Steve Kerr is offering an apology for a basketball play he did not make. Third, Rick Carlisle refusing to accept such an apology from an opposing coach who had nothing to do with the play is very strange.
However, Tim McMahon, a Mavericks beat reporter, said in a podcast with Anthony Slater to not read too much into this interaction, and that Carlisle usually acts this way postgame.
Even LeBron James offered his support of Bell when asked about it during practice
Maybe times are changing. A lot of the “unwritten rule” etiquette surrounding sports is antiquated and frankly, a little nonsensical. Garbage time shouldn’t be required to be boring and vanilla. If any team is down by twenty and gets clowned a little bit, that’s just more fun and exciting for fans and players alike.
Congrats to Jordan Bell for showing off what he can do in his fourth career game. He should never turn down a chance to put himself on the map. If I could do throw myself alley-oops like he can, I’d do it every chance I’d get. At the end of the day, cool dunks are cool dunks.