Warriors' Jordan Bell throws self-alley-oop off glass, becomes garbage-time All-Star

Some of you might have become familiar with Jordan Bell during his time at Oregon, where he earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors as a junior. Some of you might know him as the guy the Chicago Bulls basically sold to the Golden State Warriors early in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft, a move that served as the last straw in motivating the purchase of an anti-Bulls management billboard. Some of you might not know him at all.

Well, you will now, because the Warriors rookie chose to put himself on the map by bringing All-Star Weekend to the closing minutes of a blowout win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday:

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With the Warriors holding a 25-point lead over the Mavs at American Airlines Center, Bell sprung through an attempted screen by Dallas point guard Yogi Ferrell and deflected a 3-point try by Dwight Powell. Warriors center JaVale McGee tapped the loose ball out to Bell, who had leaked out ahead of the play and found himself with an opportunity to drive in for a dunk. With Mavericks rookie Gian Clavell closing in, Bell decided to get flashy with it, throwing the ball off the backboard to himself as he soared in for the dunk, with Clavell fouling him on the play.

The self-alley-oop caught just about everyone by surprise, including Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant:



As you might expect, the play didn’t inspire the same kind of stunned awe and rapturous enthusiasm on the Mavericks’ bench. From Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

“Yeah, in old school ball, maybe,” Nowitzki said of some Maverick perhaps giving Bell a hard foul on the next possession. “But it’s 2018 almost.

“That [play] was a bit much. But that’s just a rookie being a little excited.”

To his credit, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr recognized right away that Bell’s exuberance might not go over so well with the Mavs and their coach, Rick Carlisle:


In the heat of the moment, though, Rick wasn’t trying to hear it:


Even so, Kerr made a point of talking to the impressive rookie … and so did his teammates. From Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“It caught me off guard,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s just having fun out there. The main thing he needs to understand is that that’s going to offend some people.” […]

“Don’t let them make you feel guilty, JB,” Durant said.

“Yeah!” [Draymond] Green chimed in. “All he did was dunk the ball and add a little flavor.”

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Draymond, in what you will surely find a shocking turn of events, had more to say on the matter:


Listen, man, when you get on the basketball floor — I don’t care if you get out there with two minutes to go, up 25 or two minutes to go, down 25 — somebody is evaluating you. You want to throw it off the backboard? Feel free, and dunk the ball. He got an and-1. That’s a great play.

I don’t got no message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. That’s what he did. I don’t get all up into the whole, “Oh, they’re winning by this much, it’s bad sports.” Says who? Dunk the ball. What was the difference if he threw it off the backboard and dunked it, as opposed to just grabbing it and dunk it? It’s a dunk. So no, I don’t get all up into that. Great play. Great play.

For his part, Bell — who continued the strong start to his rookie campaign, scoring six points on 3-for-3 shooting with four rebounds, two assists and a block in just under 10 minutes of burn — kept his response understated:


It was certainly that. It was also something I can completely understand Dallas feeling some kind of way about. That said, though, if you’ve got a problem with an opponent styling on you, there is and always has been only one true foolproof way of avoiding it: don’t get behind by 25 points and give them opportunities for runout dunks.


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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!