Wizards furious after Nets assistant deflected pass from bench: 'That's hores**t'

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One of the Nets’ best defensive plays of Wednesday night’s win over the Wizards came from assistant coach David Vanterpool.

With Brooklyn leading by six with just under six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, former Net Spencer Dinwiddie tried to send a pass to Kyle Kuzma in the corner, but Vanterpool shockingly reached out his arm and deflected the ball past Kuzma. The Nets grabbed the loose ball and pushed ahead in transition before a furious Kuzma intentionally committed a foul to stop the clock and unleash a tirade on the officials, who never saw the interference.

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“That was also horses--t too,” Kuzma said after Washington lost by one. “Coaches should not be able to stand up… I get it if it’s under two minutes, but there’s like 3:50 on the clock. You’ve got Steve Nash blocking the ref's view. He can't see s--t. I don’t know what else to say. It’s unfortunate, but you gotta live with it. We had opportunity at the end, I missed a shot. Live or die with it, you know, s--t happens.”

One official was standing right next to Vanterpool, who immediately backed away into the Brooklyn bench after deflecting the pass, but no call was made. Instead, the Nets kept their possession and went on to win the game.

For Wizards acting head coach Jospeh Blair it was simply “utter disbelief.”

“You asked me if he may have touched it. There was no ‘may have,’” Blair said. “He did. My reaction was utter disbelief. I’ve never seen, in my very long time in basketball, something happen like that that the refs didn’t see. I think in a game like this, with the bench conduct being a point of emphasis this year, that it’s very hard to swallow [the refs] missing something like that.”

“I do understand that, regardless, there’s tons of things we could have done better in the game and it should have never came down to us complaining about something like that," Blair continued. "But I will say that you know, this is the best league in the world. We have to be better than that. And nothing against that referee. Quite frankly, I think he’s good referee and a really good person. I was just kind of in disbelief. Like I said, I’ve never seen nothing like that ever. To be standing there as a head coach to try to deal with it at the time was kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh, did I really just see that?'”

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