Our Fearless Leader already touched on the late-game tomfoolery during Monday night's matchup between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Minnesota Timberwolves, pointing you toward Sebastian Pruiti's wonderful breakdown of the thinking behind the jump-ball machinations at the increasingly indispensable NBA Playbook. It's a great read, if you like that sort of thing. You know, if you like "top-notch analysis" and "smart insights into the game" and "detailed explanations that help you become a more knowledgeable fan."
If, however, you're like me — if you're a "super fun guy who loves jokes and smiles," not a "total poindexter who hates fun and wants to find a way to multiply algebra by Brussels sprouts" — you probably got the biggest kick out of the way that Bobcats co-captain Stephen Jackson(notes) started to direct Timberwolves rookie Wesley Johnson(notes) on where to line up before the critical fourth-quarter reset.
Here's the pre-play hilarity, via Pruiti:
So great. My five favorite things about this clip:
1. That StackJack was like, "You know what, I bet if I tell this rookie that he has to stand between me and Gerald Wallace(notes), he will listen to me and comply without asking any questions, even though I am not on his team, which is a fact he should know, based on us wearing uniforms of different colors, and also me not ever being at any Minnesota games, practices, meetings or team functions."
It is, of course, an insane thought, but when subtly put into practice, it became a slick, unobtrusive and devious yet charming move, as befits a shrewd politician like Port Arthur's finest.
2. That Wesley Johnson completely started to go for it, like, "Oops, my bad, excuse me, let me get out of the way and stand in this open space between you two guys." C'mon, rook. It's like you fell for the old "pull the chair" trick, but in your mind, which I think is a one-line summary of the treatment for "Inception 2: Keith Mahorn's Revenge."
3. That Kurt Rambis darn near has a coronary on the sideline, yelling and whirling his right arm as he tells Johnson to get back in position. It's great to see Kurt Rambis show that kind of passion in a non-"unconscionably cutting Kevin Love's(notes) minutes" context.
4. That referee Ken Mauer steps off of the foul line and comes over to see what all the commotion is about, addressing the scene with arms outstretched, as if to say, "Awright, awright, what's the big idea, what's the big idea? I'm tryin' ta JUMP A BALL OVA HEA!" The clip ends before Mauer walks away muttering, "Why I oughta ..." and mentions making those numbskulls eat a knuckle sandwich sandwich (a knuckle sandwich pressed between two knuckle sandwiches), but we can all agree that that probably happened.
5. That the clip has no sound, which forced me (and, I'm sure, some of you) to act out the whole sequence in my head, with dialogue and accents and everything. Come to think of it, "forced" isn't the right word; the muted video allowed me to write my own story. Theater of the mind, you guys. Darned talkies ruined everything.