Professional athletes look for any advantage they can take, even when it's not clear exactly how it will help. At the highest levels of a sport, every inch matters — such ideas are ingrained in the culture.
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Nevertheless, I really do not know why guard Diante Garrett, now playing for the Chicago Bulls at Las Vegas Summer League, decided to pump-fake a free-throw attempt. With 21 seconds left in Thursday's game against the Toronto Raptors, Garrett decided to cause this mass lane violation:
What happened here? Was Garrett playing psychological games with the Raptors? Was he so uncomfortable that he needed another attempt? What did he hope to gain?
As noted by Dan Feldman at ProBasketballTalk, Garrett should have received nothing. NBA rules dictate that the shooter "shall not purposely fake a free throw" and should be tagged with a violation in all instances. Given that the fake caused the lane violation, Garrett should have been sent back to the other end to play defense.
On the other hand, this play is way more interesting than a made free throw. Maybe that was the true advantage all along.
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