New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee had what looked to be a clean look at a three-pointer in the waning seconds of Thursday night’s game, which would have really come in handy because the Wizards held a three-point lead. He opted not to shoot, however, and instead dished the ball to Brandon Jennings, who failed to get a shot off.
Lee had an interesting excuse for not pulling the trigger: getting tricked by Washington assistant coach Sidney Lowe. Lowe yelled in Lee’s ear while standing near the three-point line, causing the Knicks guard to think a defender was closing in from the side.
“I thought it was one of their players because I was getting ready to shoot and in my peripheral you see a body right there and he is saying, ‘I am right here! I am right here! I got your stunt!'” Lee explained. “Usually in basketball terminology, that is a switch or I am going to jump out, so I shot-faked and drove. I still should have shot the shot.”
“So I don’t shoot it, I drop the ball thinking it is going to be a double close out and I try to make a play to Brandon [Jennings] and I think he bobbled the ball a little bit and that is the end of the game. Come to find out it was the assistant coach, not a player.”
Lee added: “I don’t know if it was part of the defensive scheme for a coach to be out there and saying that and being on the floor standing next to me, but it happens. We lost. I should have shot it.”
As you can see from the video, the Inside the NBA crew didn’t exactly buy Lee’s excuse. But, one can see why a player would have a problem with an assistant coach wandering that far off the bench to affect play.
When in doubt, though, a shooter should always shoot first and ask questions later.
If anything, this incident is a reminder the Knicks (19-25) are skilled at finding new and unexpected ways to lose. Even Sidney Lowe-related ways.Who saw that coming?