That had to have been the thought running through Jazzman Gordon Hayward’s head Monday night after Dallas’ Delonte West ran his finger through his ear.
In one of the most bizarre scenes ever in an NBA game, West, already well-known for his odd behavior, fouled Hayward while the Jazz were on a fastbreak. Seconds later he walked up to the 22-year-old and stuck his finger in his right ear.
Hayward stuck both hands in the air and walked away, waiting for referees to respond. Oddly enough, none of the three officials saw the incident, but did call West for a technical foul after reviewing the play.
“He had some lint in his hair,” West said after the game. “I was just trying to get it out for him. I was giving him a ‘wet willy’ that’s all.’”
West didn’t find anything wrong with his behavior and offered no apologies.
“We’re two warriors,” he said. “We’re out here battling on the battlefield. I forgot the NBA is a gentleman’s game so we have to fight and scrap and do it nicely.”
Well, that was awkward.
“We were both jockeying for position, running in transition,” Hayward explained. “He got kind of upset about that I guess. It wasn’t anything major at all.”
Hayward, who grew up playing tennis, said he was taught to keep his emotions in check, which helped explain why he maintained his composure after the “wet willy.”
Not every NBA player would’ve walked away after such a gesture. Perhaps he was a bit freaked out by it; perhaps even with West’s finger sticking in it, Hayward simply had a cooler head.
“I was brought up to not let people see your emotions too much,” he said.
Asked if West should have been kicked out of the game, Hayward said that wasn’t his call to make.
“That’s up to the refs,” he said. “I certainly think a ‘wet willy’ or whatever it was, shouldn’t be allowed. But that’s up to the ref’s interpretation.”
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin tried to downplay the incident, but didn’t do a very good job of it.
“It happens,” he said with an uncomfortable laugh.
Then, a long pause.
“… in the park.”