Courtney Lee Says Wizards Assistant Coach Distracted Him on Final Sequence

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 16:  Courtney Lee #5 of the New York Knicks in action against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden on January 16, 2017 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks 108-107.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After passing up a potential game-tying three-point attempt in Thursday's 113-110 loss to the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee said a Wizards assistant coach distracted him by stepping on to the court.

As seen in the following video courtesy of Turner Sports PR, Washington assistant Sidney Lowe stood in the playing area during the closing seconds, prompting Lee to pass the ball away:

Al Iannazzone of Newsday reported the league is looking into Lee's claims. 

According to ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Lee believed Lowe was a player when he saw him out of the corner of his eye:

I thought it was one of their players because I was getting ready to shoot and in my peripheral you see a body right there and he is saying, 'I am right here! I am right here! I got your stunt!' Usually in basketball terminology, that is a switch or I am going to jump out, so I shot-faked and drove. I still should have shot the shot.

So I don't shoot it, I drop the ball thinking it is going to be a double close out and I try to make a play to Brandon [Jennings] and I think he bobbled the ball a little bit and that is the end of the game. Come to find out it was the assistant coach, not a player.

Although the veteran continued to take responsibility for not shooting, he also expressed his belief that the NBA should consider some type of discipline:

He fooled me. I still should have should have took the shot ... I've never seen that in my whole career.

I think it's something they [the NBA] need to take a look at. ... Being a basketball player you play off of instincts, and if you hear somebody right there, that's why I try to make the right play. But I still should have shot it.

Thursday's defeat was the continuation of an awful stretch for the Knicks, who are just 3-7 over their past 10 games.

They sit 11th in the Eastern Conference standings at 19-25 and trail the Chicago Bulls by 2.5 games for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The team has been embroiled in controversy as of late, as there appears to be a divide between star forward Carmelo Anthony and team president Phil Jackson, per Marc Berman of the New York Post.

With another loss pushing the Knicks further out of contention, the possibility of sweeping changes in the Big Apple continues to grow.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.  

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