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The Early Lead
Posted at 08:45 AM ET, 04/18/2012

Delonte West gives Gordon Hayward a wet willy, thinking a little too far outside the box. (video)

Delonte West reached into his bag of tricks and came up with an especially ineffective and unusual one Monday night.

He delivered a wet willy to the ear of Gordon Hayward in the Utah Jazz’ triple-overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

It was, well, weird. Jaw-droppingly, eyes-rubbingly weird. The refs initially missed the whole thing and, with the crowd chanting “Throw him out,” went to the tape. West, who later joked that he was trying to remove lint from Hayward’s hair, was slapped with a technical. He’s lucky dad didn’t turn the car around and take the Mavericks home.

“I was like I didn't know what was going on. The crowd was just going crazy,” Enes Kanter said. “It was weird. It was real weird. I was like, what is going on? What does it mean?”

(Video after the jump.)

Nothing, it means nothing (although the Jazz announcers in the video were indignant) as long as the victim walks away, as Hayward did. (As every kid and/or pro athlete knows, it’s the guy who retaliates who gets in trouble.)

“I wanted to fight right there, but you can't do that. It wouldn't have been the smart idea,” Hayward said. “I'd risk getting a technical foul, getting suspended for the season, whatever. There's more important things than fighting someone out on the court. The more important thing was getting the win and we were able to do that.”

West defended his action as a heat-of-battle thing, although one rarely thinks about the application of the wet willy to modern warfare.

“We're two warriors, man; we're out there battling on the battlefield,” West said. “I forgot, the NBA is a gentleman's game, so we've got to fight and scrap and do it nicely. Everything is left on the court, though. That's what it is.”

By  |  08:45 AM ET, 04/18/2012

 
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