San Antonio Spurs rookie Kyle Anderson had to wait until the fourth game of his NBA career to get off the bench for the first time, entering Thursday night’s nationally televised game against the Houston Rockets with 5:52 to go in the first quarter.
His first time on an NBA court. A special moment in the career of any NBA player.
So how did Anderson mark the occasion? A high-flying dunk? A long 3-pointer? A ridiculous assist?
None of the above.
No, Anderson was whistled for a delay of game violation by referee Courtney Kirkland and admonished to tuck in his jersey. This isn’t to say that Anderson’s jersey was untucked, at least not in the traditional sense.
No, there was one little piece of extra cloth hanging out of the back of his shorts. Seriously? One little nub of cloth was enough for a delay of game warning?
On the other hand, Anderson might have carved out his own niche in the record books. How many other rookies’ first entry on an NBA stat sheet read like this?
05:52 SUB: Anderson FOR Green
05:52 Spurs Violation: Delay of game Violation
Not only did Anderson delay the game, he delayed it before any time could elapse at all.
That kind of efficiency could only come from those fundamentally sound San Antonio Spurs.
Fortunately for Anderson, the first offense is just a warning. A second offense would have given the Rockets some free throws.
For the record, Anderson—the 30th overall selection from UCLA in June’s draft—managed to put some other stuff on the stat sheet.
After Gregg Popovich opted to rest Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, he played 31 minutes and scored four points on 1-of-8 shooting, missing his only two 3-point attempts. He also had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in the Spurs’ 98-81 loss to the Rockets.
- Phil Watson