Depending on the situation, a feigned injury can bring drastically different outcomes for NBA players.
If the "injury" is a ploy for an extra night off, the action can be deemed worthy of a fine. (Just ask Gilbert Arenas.)
During the course of a game, though, an Academy Award-caliber performance can provide enough of a defensive lapse to open driving (and dunking) lanes.
In the waning moments of the first half of the Golden State Warriors-Dallas Mavericks game, a laboring Vince Carter appeared on the verge of calling a timeout, with a possible locker room exit in his near future.
Once Harrison Barnes bought the act, Carter crept along the baseline, caught Elton Brand's offering and delivered a vintage Carter throwdown.
It was truly a sight to behold:
Vince Carter was just in the corner acting like he couldn't stand up because of his ankle, then throws down a 2-hand dunk at the buzzer— Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) February 1, 2013
Was this just some crafty gamesmanship from a seasoned veteran? Or could there have been a higher power calling the shots:
Was that carter fake injury dunk a designed play by Carlisle? Wow— Chris Ballard (@SI_ChrisBallard) February 1, 2013
The 36-year-old sauntered up the court with his trademark revving the motorcycle celebration. But not everyone was convinced that his motor has a lot of life left in it:
Vince is doing the motorcycle, but at that age, I just figure it's a hoveround.— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) February 1, 2013
The flush gave Carter nine points for the first half, but his Mavericks entered intermission trailing the Warriors 55-53.