Bulls

On Saturday night, Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan’s high spirits dwindled progressively as it became apparent that his team would never recover from the 12-point deficit in the game against the Toronto Raptors. However, this emotion crossed over to anger as Pascal Siakam broke the ‘unwritten rule’ in the league in the last few seconds of the game.

The unwritten rule

In every sport, there’s always an unwritten rule that players live by out of respect or sportsmanship. Basketball has a few, but perhaps the most controversial one is the one that prevents the winning team from scoring in the last few seconds of the game.

If there’s only less than 24 seconds in the match and it’s clear that the other team can’t close in on the gap and make a comeback, the winning team should try to hang on to the ball and not attempt a shot until the clock goes off.

It’s a weird rule, but if you delve into it deeper, the players actually do this out of respect for their opponents. They do this so as not to increase the margin of the final scores and embarrass them any further. There’s just no point in beating a dead horse, and the point differential really didn’t matter in the past.

Unfortunately, things have changed, and with the NBA’s new rules and regulations, the point differential now matters. It comes into play whenever two teams are tied within the group in the in-season tournament.

Siakam attempts 3 pointer

And this was probably why the Raptors’ power forward, Siakam, who had no idea that his team had already been eliminated in the in-season tournament, attempted a three-pointer in the last few seconds of the game despite having a large lead over the Bulls.

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Siakam had broken the unwritten rule, and DeRozan was just not having it. 

“I don’t care about no in-season tournament points, none of that. Just respect for the game,” DeRozan said, via  K.C Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “If the roles was flip-flopped and I had the ball, hold it. It is what it is.”

He had a go at the Raptors bench, and a commotion ensued on a small portion of the court. As a result, DeRozan was handed his second technical foul and was ejected from the game with only 1.4 seconds left. 

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