DeAndre Jordan's dunk on Brandon Knight last night was incredible, but why does celebrating Jordan's feat require belittling Knight? That's what Adrian Wojnarowski asks today:
Jordan made a spectacular play. No one will soon forget it. So congratulations and all. Jordan has a $43 million contract and yet still doesn't have one offensive move, an ability to score outside the paint. Yes, he can leap, dunk on little guys. And somehow that makes him an achiever in the sport now. After this, perhaps even a folk hero.
For Brandon Knight, who had the guts to stand in there, there were prominent people writing that he had been raped and assaulted and killed on Sunday night in Los Angeles. Eight inches shorter and 80 pounds lighter, Knight understood the right thing is seldom ever the most popular. Brandon Knight didn't run and hide, didn't spare himself the humiliation.
The culture of this sport has never been so backward, never so twisted. Hell of a dunk out of DeAndre Jordan, but maybe the wrong player gets the ovation.
I think most Pistons fans will agree with Woj here (although, to be fair, Woj didn't really need to take shots at Jordan's game to make his point). Knight was demolished, there's no way around it, but you can't take anything away from the fact that he was trying to make the right play.
Whether he did in fact make the right play is debatable -- he could have had better position, for one -- but at least he tried to do something more than duck and run. (Want to see an example of duck-and-run defense? Skip ahead 30 seconds in this video and try to hold back the tears.)
In any case, after the initial burst of laughter subsided, I think most intelligent basketball fans gave Knight his due -- at least, that was the tone of late-night NBA Twitter, especially after Knight played the good sport with his tongue-in-cheek tweet.
But if you were paying attention, it was obvious from the get-go that Knight wasn't fazed -- on the very next possession, he drew a foul and nailed both of his free throws. In a way, it was reminiscent of the Rising Stars challenge: everyone remembers Kyrie Irving breaking his ankles, but on the next possession BK responded with a three-pointer.
Whether you're satisfied with his skill-set or not, you have to appreciate how Knight refuses to slink away in the face of adversity.