May 15, 2022 9:50 am

NBA: a coach stole the ball from a player and sparked controversy in the United States

The action is so rare that it created quite a stir in the United States. A Brooklyn assistant coach stole a ball from a player in the middle of the game, without the referees being able to notice, and recalled a funny action that occurred in the National League of our country, in the 90s.

The unusual event occurred in the match between Washington Wizards y Brooklyn Nets. David Vanterpool, Steve Nash’s assistant, reached in at the precise moment Kyle Kuzma was about to receive a pass from Spencer Dinwiddie in the corner. The Nets players were stunned. Kessler Edwards stole the ball and started a fast break with Patty Mills.

David Vanterpool stealing in the NBA

The Nets were leading 111-105, but the Wizards were coming back in full swing when the controversial play occurred. The final result, in favor of Brooklyn by just one point (119-118), increased the fury of the Washington players.

“This is bullshit! Trainers should not be able to get up. Everyone was on their feet, including Steve Nash, who was blocking the referee’s viewKuzma complained. Now, the franchise demands that the NBA impose an exemplary sanction on Vanterpool.

If the referees had noticed the action at the time, they would have charged Washington with a technical foul and ejected Nash’s assistant. But none of the three judges (Ben Taylor, Mitchell Ervin and Jonathan Sterling) caught a glimpse of Vanterpool’s quick hand movement.

Washington players accuse Steve Nash of obstructing referees’ view during controversial playScott Taetsch – GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

Some say it was an involuntary act. Either a reflex action or that he was giving a cue to one of his players. But even if some of these interpretations were true, the fact is that his position on the court does not help him, since he should not have been standing there.

Joseph Blair, interim coach of the Wizards also commented annoyed: “The judges asked me if he could have touched it. He couldn’t have done it; did. My reaction was one of utter disbelief. I have never seen something like this in all the time I was in basketball, that the referees have not seen it…”.

The most striking thing about the revival that occurred in the NBA is that it has a history in the National League that in recent months went viral in Argentine basketball.

A very similar action occurred in the 1990s, in a match between Independiente, from Neuquén, and Gimnasia y Esgrima from Comodoro Rivadavia. In that game, coach Daniel Allende slapped the ball against Mariano Aguilar, a player from the Neuquén team.

The robbery of Daniel Allende to Mariano Aguilar

In the Básquet Plus Aguilar portal, who was a very accurate shooter and did not work in the position of point guard, recalled the action. “The match was in Neuquén, which was the great classic of the south at that time,” he explained. In Independiente there were two quality point guards, (Gabriel) Darras and (Marcelo) Richotti, and as I recall one was hit and the other had four fouls. Eduardo Armer trusted me to play point guard and I told him ‘stay calm Eduardo, they’re not going to steal it from me’. Daniel Allende was a good point guard, but he was also very strong on the mark. You can see that his base instinct betrayed him and he stole it from me with great quality, causing a counterattack that ended with a dunk”.

Beyond the anger that caused him that night, today Aguilar is happy about the action. “They were full-court games and very spicy, very picturesque and folkloric. In the next play I approached him and asked him when he was giving a clinic in Bahia on how to steal balls, that’s how I went and perfected myself, “he said.

And he added that the matter left him a lesson forever. Now, as a coach, he warns: “To each point guard that I lead to this day, I order that when they attack for the rival side, they raise the ball on the opposite side to the substitute bench, and all the more reason if the coach is a rival is base…”.

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