True story: I missed the Spurs blowing the lead last night. Left for the family party when they were up a dub, checked the final score after and shed a tear. But I did see the play shown above, and at first, I thought nothing. In real time, it just looked like what happens all the time. Guy goes up for a shot, comes down on a foot, rolls an ankle. Twitter, per usual, did not see it the same way:
(Nice to see Max and Skip staying on brand)
There’s some good points on this side of the aisle. You do have to give a guy some space to land. That’s not one of those unwritten rules, it’s a very real actual rule. Zaza doesn’t do that. Also, when you’re Zaza Pachulia (or just on the Warriors for that matter), everything you do’s under a microscope. So you can’t play the innocence card. Let’s go ahead and look at that claim that he took an extra step:
In my eyes, he only takes an extra step if you’re looking to see if he took an extra step. Again, in real time, I thought nothing of it. But let’s wrap up this investigation with my least favorite line that NBA players use: you have to have played at the highest level to understand this. Because as someone who’s current basketball career involves reluctantly playing one game of 3 on 3 at the rec center, the thought to do this to someone has never crossed my mind. Everything else we can relate to. Tripping someone, hacking someone, setting a hard screen, whatever. But having the state of mind to take an extra step to get up underneath a guy as he lands? It’s murky for an amateur to understand. That’s next-level scheming that you need to be in the League to comprehend. (aka your boy will be able to explain it in a month)
Overall, even as the chief Warrior hater (don’t @ me, I was on an island 2 years ago fighting them), I just can’t bring myself behind this cause. My heart’s not in it. It seems much more likely that Zaza was just playing reckless, which is the Draymond Green way of covering up dirty play. But that doesn’t make it okay, and I want all of you to keep fighting, and keep digging for the truth.