Kyle Kuzma was upset as his Washington Wizards lost to the Brooklyn Nets at home 118-119. But he is sure not as upset about the lost game as about a bizarre instance in the game. The instance was when Nets’ assistant coach David Vanterpool deflected a live ball in the game from the sidelines and the referee failed to see it.
With 5:45 remaining in the 4th quarter, the Wizards were trailing 103-109. Spencer Dinwiddie passed the ball to Kyle Kuzma. Before it reached Kuzma, the ball was deflected by Vanterpool, who reached out from the bench. This resulted in a Wizards turnover and the ball was awarded to the Nets for the next possession.
According to the NBA rulebook, Rule 8, Section II states that “If the ball is interfered with by an opponent seated on the bench or standing on the sideline (Rule 12A—Section II—a(7)), it shall be awarded to the offended team out-of-bounds nearest the spot of the violation.” So, according to the rules, it should have been Wizards’ ball had the referee seen it being deflected from the bench members.
The game came down to the wire and Kuzma did however get two chances to take his team home. He made a 24-foot 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining to cut the Nets’ lead down to one, making the score 118-119. Then with 4.7 seconds to go, Kuzma attempted another shot which could have won the game for the Wizards. Unfortunately, this time he missed the shot and the Nets won.
Kyle Kuzma after the tough loss
Kyle Kuzma after the game said – “That was also horses**t. Coaches should not be able to stand up. Most you can do is yell at the ref, but he can just say he didn’t see it and it be [is] alright.” Vanterpool will probably be fined as such an incident has occurred before. Sidney Lowe, the assistant coach of the Washington Wizards was fined $5000 for a similar act.
On the next possession where the Nets had the ball, Kuzma was frustrated as he fouled Patty Mills. He did this for the single purpose of yelling at the referees but also regretted it later. Since, the Wizards only lost by one point, who knows maybe that one lost possession could have affected the complete outcome of the game.