Antoine Wright had one thing on his mind as the Los Angeles Lakers inbounded the ball with 1.2 seconds left and needing a buzzer-beater to win.
“I just don’t want to be on another Where Amazing Happens commercial,” Wright said. “Carmelo already got me once. Let’s not do this again.”
Wright was referring to Game 3 of last year’s Western Conference semifinal with Denver when he was with Dallas. The Mavs were up two with a foul to give and were given instructions to use the foul. Wright hammered the Nuggets’ Anthony not once but twice and still didn’t get called. After the second shove, Anthony had a free look at the basket and drained a three for the win.
The NBA immortalized the moment, much to Wright’s chagrin, in one of those commercials.
Sunday, Wright was again in the spotlight knowing the ball was going to Kobe Bryant and knowing it was his job to somehow try to keep Bryant from making another game-winner. Wright had his strategy all laid out.
“For me, I was just thinking, don’t foul him, obviously. I don’t want to hold him and prohibit him from getting the ball. He’s going to catch the ball. That part of it I just have to live with ... The fact that he fumbled it and caught it with his back to the basket and had to fade a little bit probably helped me out a lot more.”
So Kobe missed and Wright doesn’t have to worry about another commercial.