Okay, okay, okay. I know half the people here are going to defend Zaza, and I know the other half are going to argue he’s the second coming of the anti-christ or something, but... Ugh.
Zaza Pachulia needs to stop falling down on dudes.
He’s clumsy, okay. I get it. He’s a huge human being. He wasn’t looking at Kawhi Leonard and therefore couldn’t have intended to injure him. He got hooked by Nick Young’s flailing, trailing foot and didn’t intend to fall on Russell Westbrook.
Here’s the play from last night, in case you missed it:
But, seriously, at some point it becomes reeeeeeally hard to keep explaining how this ginormous human being keeps either 1.) actually injuring people, or, 2.) almost injuring people. It gets harder and harder to defend him when Westbrook, after the game, decides to go all in.
Westbrook: “What do you mean what happened? What’d you think what happened? Don’t lie, don’t lie, you saw the instant replay four times. What happened?”
Reporter: “He fell on your leg.”
Westbrook: “Thank you. Don’t ask me a dumb question you know the answer to.”
Reporter: “Did you see it?”
Westbrook: “What did it look like? What it look like? Anybody touch him? Yes or no?”
Reporter: “I didn’t see the replay.”
Westbrook: “Oh, you didn’t see it? But why you asking about something you didn’t see? Well then if you didn’t see it, don’t ask me a question. Don’t ask me dumb questions, man. Obviously, it was intentional. So don’t ask me if it was intentional. Nobody touched him, he fell on my leg, tried to hurt me. But hey, that’s how it goes.”
On if the NBA needs to address it, Westbrook said, “Hey man, they’ll see it and look at it, you know what I’m saying? They’ll see it.”
Asked if Pachulia is a dirty player, he said, “Yeah, for sure. For sure.”
It also doesn’t help that a bunch of NBA players also thought the play was dirty. In the same article from ESPN, Paul George weighed in, saying:
“You know Zaza, you know his history. You know nobody pushed him. He aimed where he was gonna fall. That’s Zaza making a Zaza play. He’s on the end of hurting a lot of guys.”
Eventually Isaiah Thomas, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and more also aired their feelings on the matter.
And that’s before we even revisit this:
Which, if you remember, I actually defended in a piece from last summer titled, “I wish Kawhi Leonard had played in the Conference Finals.”
At the time, in part, I wrote:
This year, unfortunately, it was a Zaza Pachulia slide under (I still stand by the fact it was unintentional, no matter what a bunch of rabid San Antonio-ites might think) that removed the Spurs’ only true weapon.
But, ick. Ick ick ick. This is getting bad. I mean, it’s getting harder and harder to not agree with Tim Kawakami:
Every time Curry goes into the lane and gets bumped, hundreds of Warriors fans scream "he's getting mugged!" Yet when Pachulia repeatedly crashes into key opponent players, you pull out Physics textbooks and Newtonian theories.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 25, 2018
Zaza, my dude, PLEASE STOP FALLING ON GUYS. SERIOUSLY! I WANT TO DEFEND YOU, BUT IT GETS HARDER AND HARDER WITH EACH PASSING RECURRENCE!
Okay, rant over.