Fair to say this has not been the best week of Brandon Knight's basketball life.
In a Sunday night instant, the Pistons guard found himself on the wrong end of powerful, stupendous, and utterly authoritative executed lob dunk by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
In a minute, Twitter became a night at the Improv with the sports world cracking itself up. A minute later, all corners of the internet joined in. Some of the visual gags were rather creative with this drawing standing out as my personal funny bone favorite.
Knight's Wikipedia page gained a new entry: "On March 10, 2013 Knight died in a game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. The cause of death was determined to be DeAndre Jordan."
At least Knight took it all in stride even as the backyard hoops culture turned him into a punch line despite being around 8 inches and 80 pounds lighter than the 7-foot Jordan. Despite doing, what every coach at every level would love to see - a player sticking his nose into the fray even when outsized by a charging foe.
That's where this story goes fundamentally wrong.
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski writes, "The message is clear to players everywhere, on every level: Run away. Hide. Don't try to take the charge. Don't try to disrupt the play. There's no reward. This is how backward the basketball culture has become, how twisted the value system."
This leads to a curious comment coming out of Monday's Wizards practice perhaps typifying the misguided coast-to-coast response.
As J. Michael reported on Monday, John Wall shared his thoughts upon waking to the dunk that shook the basketball world.
“That’s what I woke up to,” Wall said of seeing the replays Monday morning. “That’s why you don’t help side sometimes. I feel for anybody that’s in that situation. You’re doing what you’re supposed to, but he just got caught in a bad situation.”
Something tells me Wall's old school coach, Randy Wittman, would not agree with seemingly any rationale for not helping on defense when appropriate. It's worth nothing that for the most part the Wizards, top-10 defensively throughout much of this season, have bought into whatever ball-stopping rationale Wittman's been selling.
Seeing as Washington's point guard missed the live jocular overnight fun when Knight went from being a help defender to being helped up back to his feet, perhaps this was Wall's in the moment thought, his shot at cracking wise.
Let's hope so, because in this increasingly style over substance NBA world, it would be unfortunate otherwise.