October 06, 2010
We all expected to see some exciting stuff in Tuesday night's slate of preseason games -- things like the official unveiling of Team John Dillinger, Yao Ming's(notes) return from injury and Jeff Pendergraph(notes) skying for an Andre Miller oop to baptize Chris Kaman(notes). Y'know, the usual. But if you're like me, you were pleasantly surprised to get some actual late-game excitement, courtesy of the Washington Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks and Lester Hudson(notes).
With six ticks left in the fourth quarter and the score knotted at 94, Wizards guard Hudson rolled up on the Mavs' Dee Brown(notes) (no, not that one, the other one), rose, fired and drained a 3-pointer to seal a win in John Wall's(notes) preseason debut. Wiz TV announcer Steve Buckhantz -- who's been known to bless fans with excitement-soaked calls that identify such game-ending long-balls as daggers -- kept his cool on this one.
No catchphrases here ... just a note that Hudson, a training-camp invitee who spent time last season with the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies (as well as the D-League's Maine Red Claws and Dakota Wizards), showed similar late-game flair during Summer League. Given the video evidence, if they don't already call him Cool Lester Smooth, they might want to think about it. (Or, whoever "they" are might not want to start doling out "Wire"-related nicknames based on stuff that happens before the games start to count. Which would be fair, I guess.)
The shot itself was pretty rad, but the aftermath was super fun, too. Dan Steinberg has highlights of the celebration at the D.C. Sports Bog, including Gilbert Arenas'(notes) contribution, which he accurately terms "the creaky-legged dance of an 80-year-old sailor with two wooden legs." Pretty great stuff all around.
Welcome back, NBA excitement. Like Mr. Kotter before you, your dreams (and the end of Game 7 of the finals) were your ticket out. But now you are back, in that same old place that we laughed about -- namely, professional basketball arenas in which a super-bearded Artist Formerly Known As Agent Zero breaks character with a grin.
Video courtesy of @Jose3030.