NBA coaches have taken their sideline antics to a new level. It used to be that coaches would simply stomp when a shooter was about to launch a three in front of them, attempting to make up for their team’s poor defense with a bit of auditory distraction, but the days of such cheeky mischief seem to be behind us. First, there was Jason Kidd’s sneaky ploy to purposely spill a beverage in order to draw up a final play for the Brooklyn Nets. Now, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale is trying his own hand at underhandedness.
In the waning moments of the first half in Saturday night’s game between the Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, McHale stationed himself inside of Tim Duncan as Duncan attempted to inbound the ball from roughly three-quarter court. Ostensibly, McHale was attempting to either obscure Duncan’s view or alter the inbound in some way; even after seemingly being warned once about his positioning by the official, McHale made his way back to the scorer’s table and within several feet of Duncan.
And Spurs coach Gregg Popovich blew his lid at McHale’s shenanigans, drawing a technical foul call and having to be held back from going after the officials any further as the halftime buzzer sounded.
So in the span of a week, we’ve had Cup-gate and now Sideline Shenanigans. I’m pretty well terrified of what a coach is going to try next. It’s almost enough to make a person nostalgic for the days of Vinny Del Negro’s sideline stomps.