During last night’s Dallas-OKC game, ABC’s Mark Jackson had one of the most peculiar comments I’ve ever heard. It was one of the largest WTF? moments of the playoffs thus far.
The comment came after Jose Barea beat Nate Robinson very badly with a cross-over move that ended in a scoop lay-up. Replays showed that the reason Robinson was so badly “okee-doked” by the seemingly pedestrian crossover was that he was peaking to his right to look for any potential screens. He should have relied on communication from his teammates. When Barea saw the peak, he took advantage and blew by Robinson’s left side, leaving Robinson looking clumsy and slow.
During replays of the move, Mark Jackson made the strangest comment. He said, and I’m paraphrasing,
“Back in the day, when guys would make moves like that, we used to take the ball and throw it in the lake.”
The comment was so bizarre I couldn’t get it out of my mind all night. At first I thought Jackson might be speaking metaphorically, but questioning by fellow commentator Jeff Van Gundy revealed he meant that literally.
There are so many things wrong with that comment, many of them pointed out by Van Gundy.
(1) What would motivate such an action and why would the other players go along with it? I can’t envision a scenario where a lake toss would be considered acceptable. The only time I ever played pickup basketball near a lake was when I played at the park on Johnson Street in Madison that is right on the banks of Lake Monona. I can tell you with certainty, if one of the players would have thrown the basketball in the lake after any play (I don’t care if a guy did a 720 dunk) he would have gotten his ass kicked.
(2) The larger point, though: why would you decide to celebrate ANY play by tossing the basketball into a lake? Wouldn’t high fives suffice? After a lake toss, not only would the afternoon of basketball be over, but you would have lost a basketball forever. Presumably the ball would have belonged to somebody, and that somebody, I would imagine, would be pretty upset.
(3) The other technical point brought up by Van Gundy: Mark Jackson grew up in New York City. What lake did he have access to? Lake Queens?
Ok, lets assume Jackson was being facetious. What motivated him to say such a strange thing? I guess it emphasizes the point that the move was particularly embarrassing for Robinson, but the metaphor doesn’t work. In order to make sense, the made-up ritual should have involved some humiliation forced upon the burn victim. similar to what happens in golf when you don’t get your tee shot past the women’s tee. But Jackson’s metaphor suggests the entire contest would end and everyone would suffer.
Actually, the larger issue is, why am I putting so much thought into this???
Oh, and I love Kevin Durant’s backpack. I just found out what’s in it. His Ipad, his bible, his phones, and his chargers.