NBA teams typically believe in winning at any cost, but the sport has a few unwritten rules that players should not break. One of the most obvious dictate that a team not try to score when the game is in hand and the shot clock has been turned off. It's a sign of major disrespect to the defeated team, a final insult added to the injury of losing. Players know it's a mistake, and if they do cross the line they most likely don't do it intentionally.
On Sunday night, though, Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner had a momentary lapse in judgment in the closing seconds of a 111-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. With just six seconds on the clock and the Lakers fighting to extend the game, Nick Young missed a long three-pointer that Shawne Williams failed to tip in. The rebound eventually kicked out to James Anderson, who found himself alone with Turner for a 2-on-0 fast break. Decorum would dictate that the two Sixers dribble out the clock and walk away with the five-point win. But they had other ideas.
Yes, that's a dunk-contest effort in a road game that was already decided. Not surprisingly, the home crowd responded with a chorus of boos. Realizing his error, Turner immediately began apologizing to various Lakers, although no one seemed particularly interested in paying attention to him.
It's hard to tell how sincere Turner actually was in his apology, since he presumably knew the situation when he decided to dunk. At any rate, it's nice that he felt some remorse, even if he never should have done the thing in the first place.
Of course, it was a pretty nice dunk. Maybe neutral parties shouldn't be so upset about the whole thing.
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