Caron Butler Punks Rookie, Steals Ball for Garbage-Time Basket
With mere seconds remaining in a blowout loss, Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler went up to Toronto Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas with a congratulatory high-five. Just as Valanciunas dropped his guard, Butler ripped the ball free and ran the length of the floor.
No love for rookies.
Valanciunas instantly realized that he was duped and chased Butler down for the foul.
Depending on which end of the spectrum you stand, this was one of the most comical and/or dirty tactics you'll see this season.
Valanciunas got the last laugh with a 98-73 win over Butler's Clippers, but this is certain to be a moment Val never lets go of. Perhaps a "never trust the opponent" mentality was a necessary adoption to begin with.
Jonas Valanciunas was rather annoyed about Butler's last second play. And, um, disappointed the two teams don't meet again this yr.— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) February 2, 2013
Those sound like fighting words.
Fortunately, Valanciunas wasn't left as the end of all jokes. Instead, the world took his side in the matter and formed an anti-Butler group.
The Twitter world, at least.
Whether questioning his morality or simply shaking their heads, no one seemed to know what to make of his devious ways.
Chicago Bulls announcer Chuck Swirsky may have put it best.
Caron Butler.....seriously ?— chuck swirsky (@swirsk054) February 2, 2013
To be fair, this is a distant reflection of the Clippers' identity. They may be fan favorites with their high-flying style of play, but they're nobody's friends when they step onto the floor.
They'll beat you up, out-finesse you and, you know, attempt to embarrass you when the game is already decided.
Jonah Keri of ESPN's Grantland decided to chime in, taking a break from his MLB focuses. He not only expressed his distaste with the play, but also his amusement.
Punk move or comedic brilliance? You decide.
The game of basketball may not always be fair, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for the foul.
Valanciunas learned that rookie lesson Friday during the Raptors' 98-73 victory.
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