All-Star weekend is never the time to play defense.
Detroit Pistons sophomore guard Brandon Knight just learned that the hard way.
Kyrie Irving, the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge MVP, dazzled once again on the game's biggest mini-stage. The Cleveland Cavaliers star finished with a team-high 32 points (on 20 field-goal attempts) and rounded out his stat line with six rebounds and six assists.
But it was this fourth-quarter yo-yo exchange that sent Knight crashing to the floor, and it nearly brought Twitter down with him:
NOT APPROPRIATEIRVING— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 15, 2013
SOMEONE PRESS CHARGES AGAINST KYRIE— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) February 15, 2013
If Knight's pride wasn't lost in the exchange, surely caps-lock buttons were.
But the blogosphere's response was nothing like that inside Houston's Toyota Center:
Kyrie Irving with the highlight of the night, and it was like a Red Bull for the crowd here.— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) February 15, 2013
The fans didn't hog all of the excitement, though. Even the stars of Sunday were impressed:
Kevin Durant is on his feet, cheering and practically on the court after that last Kyrie Irving crossover.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) February 15, 2013
Once the jubilation passed, some pondered over the play's effect. If Irving wasn't going to be locked up for his assault on Knight, perhaps his counterpart was in line for some discipline from the league office:
Did Brandon Knight just flop?— Eric Freeman (@freemaneric) February 15, 2013
Talk about adding insult to, well, insult:
I can't get over that play from Kyrie. Brandon Knight collapsed like a frightened goat.— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) February 15, 2013
While Irving may dominate the highlight reels for this finish, it was Knight's Team Chuck that left victorious. Despite many pundits salivating over the talent assembled on Team Shaq's roster, it was Barkley's squad that once again obliterated O'Neal's, this one a 163-135 rout.
Team Chuck's Kenneth Faried took MVP honors, with a game-high 40 points (on a blistering 18-of-22 shooting performance). He bolstered his award-winning campaign with 10 rebounds and several of the night's biggest slams.