It took two overtimes and what will probably be one million YouTube views, but Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough proved an age-old Sun Tzu adage correct during a 123-120 preseason victory over the Knicks on Monday.
"He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight," the Chinese philosopher opined in The Art of War.
Hansbrough, quickly and hilariously, realized that it wasn't time to fight during a brief in-game confrontation with Knicks forward Metta World Peace.
After missing a shot in the paint, Hansbrough was fouled from behind and over the shoulder by World Peace. Unable to see exactly who fouled him, Hansbrough initially lashed out as if to clear his arms and neck, turning with the apparent intention of seeking out more contact when his initial play for freedom wasn't successful.
Once he saw his adversary face-to-face, though, Hansbrough's eyes bugged out, and his body language took a turn toward spaghetti as World Peace inched forward, seeking additional fireworks.
"My bad, my bad," Hansbrough appeared to say on the video replay, as Toronto's Landry Fields and a referee intervened before things went any further.
The Wall Street Journal reported Carmelo Anthony's reaction to the exchange.
"I had a front-row seat," Anthony said. "I saw the [Hansbrough] apology."
Hansbrough, who signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with Toronto this summer, finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes against the Knicks. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes. World Peace had 16 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes.
Toronto improved to 5-1 in the preseason. New York dropped to 2-3.
Video via YouTube user ESPN