To say that Dallas Mavericks guard Delonte West has been a bit of an enigma over the course of his career would be an understatement. You never quite know what you're going to get on the court, and his bout with bipolar disorder has led to some strange happenings off the court.
Perhaps nothing has been stranger than what he did to Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward on Monday night.
After picking up a foul while defending the second-year man out of Butler late in the second quarter, West had a moment of curiosity, or perhaps insanity, as he decided to put his finger in Hayward's ear. Although it didn't appear as though West engaged in the licking of his finger, which is normally required for a "Wet Willy," this is close enough.
West seemed to be a bit more malicious than most with his Wet Willy, as he pushed Hayward's ear rather than a quick entry and exit. It's tough to say what West's motivation was other than that he was frustrated by the foul, but that was certainly an unusual reaction on his part.
As weird and unpleasant as it had to be for Hayward, you have to wonder if West's antics fired him up a bit, as he went off for 24 points, five assists and four rebounds in Utah's 123-121 victory in triple overtime.
West may have been trying to intimidate Hayward, but it had just the opposite effect.
Clearly, a Wet Willy after the whistle isn't an effective tool, but perhaps West inspired some of his counterparts to incorporate the Wet Willy into their defensive game plan.
One person who certainly had to like what they saw was Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace. He is most definitely no stranger to interesting defensive techniques.
While playing for the Indiana Pacers, the former Ron Artest "pantsed" Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce, forcing Pierce to pull his trousers back up before continuing play. The Wet Willy would likely be a bit more subtle, though, and equally useful.
When it comes down to it, West was being a punk in this instance, and both he and the Mavericks got exactly what they deserved, as they ultimately lost the game.
As funny as these types of antics might be, there truly isn't any room for them in the NBA, as West's feeble attempt at intimidation was more bush league than big league.