The Washington Post

Steve Buckhantz talks about his retracted ‘dagger’

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post


Last night’s missed shot by Trevor Ariza fooled just about everyone on the planet, and led to the first ever retracted “dagger” by Steve Buckhantz in D.C. sports history. From Dan’s post this morning:

“They’re saying it did not go!” Buckhantz said, as Chenier chuckled sadly. “We saw what appeared to be the ball go through the net, but evidently it came up short.”

“I was wondering why we didn’t see more reaction from the Wizards’ players,” Chenier pointed out.

“So the Dagger has been retracted,” Buckhantz said.

“First time ever, I believe,” Chenier added.

Buckhantz called into The Sports Fix on ESPN 980 to face the music and talk about the missed call:

“We sit in a little different location this year than we have the last 15 years, and obviously for Phil, he’s been doing it 28 years. We’re up in one of the sections, Section 110, so we are now pretty much across from, if you want to picture this in your head, across from the Wizards bench, about 20 rows up. So it’s a little different perspective for us, we’re used to sitting on the court where we do in every other arena except for Philadelphia, who also has their broadcasters sit up. And the visiting broadcasters sit next to us. So three feet away from me last night was Greg Kelser and George Blaha, and on Friday night it will be Mike Breen and Walt Frasier. So everybody sits up there now, and it gives you a little different perspective.”

The Detroit broadcasters also got the call wrong, so it’s not unreasonable to blame a bad angle here.

Buckhantz went on to talk about the positives and negatives of no longer being courtside. Spoiler alert: There are more negatives.

“It helps in the sense that you’re elevated,” he said. “When you’re on the court, you’re right down there. You’re low. So the positive is that you’re elevated. Where you’re at a disadvantage are certain angles, and also the disassociation with the game. You don’t hear the coaches, you don’t hear the players, you don’t hear the referees, sometimes you don’t hear the calls on the court. So you are disengaged quite a bit. And what I’m learning is, which I didn’t offer very much last night, is you have to try to be a little bit more patient, because there are times when you see something that you thought you saw but you didn’t see it. Guys stepping on the line, when you’re on the floor you can see it right in front of you. When you’re up a little higher it’s much more difficult to see an inch. Things like that.

“I’m not making an excuse,” he continued. “I’m just saying from where we were, it looked like it went in.”

Buckhantz is taking it in stride, and promises that this incident won’t make him shy with any future “daggers.”

“It’s just unfortunate,” he said. “You’re at a different angle and things look a little different sometimes. You know, you live by the dagger and you die by it.”

I would buy that T-shirt.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Sarah Kogod · February 28, 2013