Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Calderon crossed half court and tossed a beautiful alley-opp pass to Landry Fields for an emphatic dunk with 15.6 seconds remaining in the game against the Philadelphia Sixers on Wednesday, but he says he didn't mean to do it. Why would Calderon disown such a pretty play after the fact? It has everything to do with the context of the game.
The struggling Sixers never led at any point during the 90-72 road loss on Wednesday night, and after a close first half the Sixers got pumped by the Raptors in the final 24 minutes. Doug Collins couldn't have been happy about his team allowing a 48-32 run to close out the game, but things boiled over when Calderon served up a half-court alley-oop to Fields with 15.6 second remaining in the contest to push the lead to 18 points. Bob Cooney of Philly.com has the details:
There was plenty of energy after the game as the teams exchanged heated words in the hallways behind the court as both were going to their locker rooms.
...Sixers coach Doug Collins stared down at the Raptors' bench, where, when the game ended, coachwaved at Collins. The Sixers coach didn't respond and a couple of minutes later, as the Sixers approached their locker room, words were exchanged.
The garbage-time bucket is probably a symptom of frustration for Philadelphia more than it is a cause -- the Sixers have dropped five-straight games and eight of nine overall -- but Casey and Calderon both made sure to apologize for the incident in post-game interviews.
Reporters were eager to talk about Toronto's ninth win in the last 12 games, but Calderon made sure to first express his disappointment over his lack of clock awareness at the end of the contest.
"I wasn't me, so I want to say I'm sorry for last play. I didn't realize the time, I feel bad about it and I know coach Doug Collins was mad about that, so you know I'm going to use [the press] to apologize for that. It's not Jose Calderon."