An incredibly bizarre passage of play might have allowed referees to hand a win to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets are Wizards were in the closing minutes of a in a tight battle Wednesday night, when a Washington possession ended after officials completely missed that a Nets assistant touched a pass, causing a turnover.
Spencer Dinwiddie was trying to find Kyle Kuzma in the corner for what you have been an open corner three when Nets’ assistant Dave Vanterpool clearly reached into the field of play, deflecting the ball, and causing it to land in the hands of Kessler Edwards. The game kept running, with the Wizards protesting, wanting answers why the ball wasn’t blown dead when it was so obviously touched.
In this video you can see the official say “I didn’t see it,” which is being attributed to the entire Nets sideline standing during the final five minutes. Putting the ball back in Brooklyn’s hands had a very real chance of changing the outcome of this game, which ended in a one-point win for the Nets, 119-118.
Kuzma was livid after the game, saying that the Nets’ actions were “horseshit.”
Kyle Kuzma sounds off on Nets assistant coach David Vanterpool interfering with a ball in play (which the referees didn't call):— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 20, 2022
"That was also horses--t too. Coaches should not be able to stand up...you've got Steve Nash blocking the ref's view. He can't see s--t" pic.twitter.com/a2o507u0A4
This could have been an accident or just a brain fart on the part of the assistant, rather than intentionally cheating — but it doesn’t change the fact that this drastically altered the outcome of the game. The Nets were on a 5-0 run at the time, which extended to 7-0 on the back of the turnover. Had Washington scored at all, they win ... it’s as simple as that.