Now that the curtain has closed on the 2014/15 season and everyone has had some time to reflect on what was another fascinating campaign, it is time to look back on some of the more light-hearted moments. There are some great characters in the NBA who know how to entertain, and their antics will even leave the sternest of coaches with a smile on their face (aside from Gregg Popovich). There are also the occasional comedy mistakes during games, which will leave the player feeling slightly sheepish and often sees them sat down on the bench.
10. DeAndre Jordan Forgets The Question
After a monster performance in a win for the Clippers, DeAndre Jordan did not perform quite so well in the post-game interview. After being asked what the key was to get him going, Jordan replies “err” before shaking his head and nodding for a few seconds as it appears that the question has left him stumped. He then replies “we did it,” before admitting he was listening to Tupac over the P.A. and had forgotten the question. After some more confusion where he attempts to answer the question without knowing what it was, he is finally able to reply after the reporter repeats the question. Before the interview concludes, Jordan is pulled away by a teammate in one of the stranger post-game interviews the NBA has seen.
9. Trevor Ariza Takes a Stroll
All NBA players are guilty of travelling when under no pressure, but the referees will often let it go to keep the game flowing. They had no choice with Trevor Ariza however, who decided to go for a stroll in a game against the Suns this season. After receiving the rock, Ariza starts taking steps as he looks to Harden to come to the ball. Harden never arrives, and Ariza slams the ball on the court in frustration and then continues to take even more steps. He is called for a travel, and even appears angry at the call before realizing that he had committed the worst travel of the season. Coach Kevin McHale is not impressed at all.
8. Shaq Takes a Tumble
The TNT crew seem to spend more time joking around than analyzing the game, but they certainly know how to entertain. During the Halftime Report, Shaq had the entire crew in stitches after falling off the platform as he went to make an analysis. The 7’0″, 300-pound O’Neal got his foot caught up in some cable, seeing him crash to the floor where he then proceeded to roll around. Shaq then wrestles Kenny Smith to the ground as the entire crew continues to laugh in a typically chaotic and out-of-control Halftime Report. Shaq is the biggest personality in the game and this blooper is just one of the reasons he is such a popular and much loved figure. There may not have been much analysis, but it certainly made for good television.
7. Fan Gets a Kiss
Courtside seats at an NBA game can be a dangerous place, and over the season you will often see players crashing into fans as they try to save the ball and consequently see beer fly everywhere. This fan must have feared for her life as Javale McGee sprinted towards her in attempt to keep the ball in play, but fortunately he did not tumble into her and instead landed in the seat next to her. In one of the more light-hearted moments of the season, McGee then put his arms around the woman before giving her a kiss on the cheek. McGee then sprinted back on defense whilst the fan looked rather flustered.
6. Alexey Shved Space-Hook Shot
The sky-hook is a hard shot to master, and generally it is not a great idea to attempt it if it’s not in your usual arsenal. The Knicks’ Alexey Shved learned this the hard way in a game against Detroit this season, and his sky-hook was more like a space-hook after he flung it up over the backboard and into orbit, before it came down in the stands. Shved may have changed his mind whilst in the air and attempted to pass to the corner, but by this point it was too late and it ended rather embarrassingly (quite like the Knicks’ entire season). Shved can’t help but smile on his way back down court, and he may think twice before attempting such a difficult shot next time.
5. Brandon Knight Turnover
Poor Brandon Knight seems to end up on a lot of blooper reels, and this terrible turnover is one of his two entries on this list. In this blooper, Knight rises up to take a mid-range jumpshot, but then decides against it and looks for a pass in midair. Finding no one, Knight then neither shoots or passes and instead throws the ball into the crowd. To make the turnover even more humiliating, Knight then ends up falling on his backside and puts his head in his hands as he can’t believe what he has just done. It is taught that you should always know what you are going to do once you leave your feet, and this is the perfect example of why this is the case.
4. DeMarcus Cousins’ Defensive Lapse
This is something that happens to everyone at some point, but usually in a low key 3-on-3 and not in an NBA game in front of 15,000 fans. As the Warriors look to inbound the ball, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins appears to forget whether he is on offense or defense, and does not stand basket side of his man. He puts his hands on his knees and looks at the player who he is supposed to be defending, who walks straight to the hoop and receives the ball for an uncontested dunk once the whistle blows. The home fans, his teammates, the bench, and his coach are clearly not impressed with Cousins’ defensive lapse. Although it is entertaining, it is also slightly concerning that a player that was named an All-Star this year can make such a rookie error.
3. Knight Misses The Game Winning Layup
One of the first things you learn fairly early in basketball is how to do a layup. Once you learn that, there is no excuse to miss an open one. This is particularly true in the NBA, but Brandon Knight proved that even the pros can mess up the basics sometimes. Unfortunately for him, this came at the worst possible moment, as his layup would have won the game. After intercepting a pass, Knight has a clear path with just seconds remaining. He puts too much on the layup and it rims out as the buzzer sounds, much to the dismay of the Bucks’ bench and head coach Jason Kidd, who can’t believe what he has just seen. Knight would redeem himself in double overtime with a clutch three to send the game to triple-overtime, where the Bucks would finally emerge victorious much to the relief of a sheepish Knight.
2. Otto Porter in Another World
Trailing by three points with 16 seconds on the shot clock and 22 seconds to the end of the game, solid defense is essential. With the Wizards in this situation, Otto Porter completely forgets how to play defense and instead appears to have some kind of out-of-body experience. He is marking Snell in the corner whilst Brooks runs the clock down, before Snell runs along the baseline and around a screen for a three-pointer at the opposite elbow. Instead of following Snell, Porter remains completely motionless and unaware of what is happening around him. He eventually realizes and attempts to recover, but Snell is already on the other side of the court. It appears Porter is let off the hook after Snell misses the open shot, but Pau Gasol then pulls down an offensive rebound which saw the Bulls cling on for the win.
1. Norris Cole Inbound Trouble
Unforced turnovers are the ones that will leave coaches with their head in their hands, and this play was particularly bad, as the Heat trailed by a single point with just 40 seconds remaining. After a made basket by the Timberwolves, Miami’s Norris Cole and Hassan Whiteside have a little trouble getting the ball inbounds in what is easily the worst blooper of the year. Norris Cole steps out of bounds and passes the ball to Hassan Whiteside, who is inbounds (and therefore the ball is in play). Cole then steps inbounds and receives the ball and then inexplicably tells Whiteside to step out and inbound the ball. Cole then passes the ball back to Whiteside, who is out of bounds and the referee calls Timberwolves ball. The coaching staff have a priceless reaction on the bench, and Cole and Whiteside will have caught some heat after that one.