NEW YORK — On the final possession of the Knicks’ 113-110 loss to Washington on Thursday, Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe walked out onto the three-point line and began yelling toward Courtney Lee.
“He was right next to me and he was screaming, ‘I’m right here, I got your help. My stunt, my stunt,’” Lee said after the game. “So I’m thinking it’s a player because it’s happening so fast.”
Carmelo Anthony passed the ball to Lee, who was in position to take an open, game-tying three-pointer. Lee opted to drive by Wizards forward Kelly Oubre instead, before passing to Brandon Jennings — a play that led to a game-sealing turnover.
Courtney Lee says a sly tactic from a Wizards assistant coach tricked him into thinking he had help on the last possession. pic.twitter.com/UhwGIT9JQK— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) January 20, 2017
Lee said that when he got the ball on New York’s final possession he saw Oubre in front of him. But when he heard “I got your help, I’m right here, I’m right here,” he pump faked instead of shooting the ball. It wasn’t until after the play that Lee found out it was a Wizards assistant coach yelling in his ear.
Asked if he had enough time to shoot the three-pointer before Oubre closed out, Lee said: “I definitely did. Not hearing that voice and thinking it was a player, I definitely had enough time to shoot.
“I can’t say if he did it on purpose or not. I’ve never been in that situation and I’ve never seen it before.”
According to the NBA rulebook, an official is to assess a technical foul for “a coach entering onto the court without permission.”
Lowe stood directly in front of the official on the three-point wing during the Knicks’ final possession. Lee feels the NBA should investigate, though he still made the wrong decision.
“I think it’s something they need to take a look at,” he said. “Being a basketball player, you play off instincts, and if you hear somebody right there, that’s why I tried to make the right play, but I still should have shot it.”
UPDATE 1/20, 6:30 p.m.: The NBA agreed that the play should have been ruled as a technical foul. They fined the Wizards $10,000 and assistant coach Sidney Lowe $5,000 for the incident.