You can’t fault Aaron Gordon here. The Orlando Magic rookie has his back to teammate Tobias Harris while trying to corral the offensive board, and simply he assumes the person fighting for it behind him in a Minnesota Timberwolves opponent. And it’s tough to chastise Harris here, too – at least initially. He nearly gains control of the ball before Gordon reaches back to get it himself.
But why does Harris continue trying to take the ball upon realizing that it’s Gordon in front of him? Maybe he wants the two points to inflate his stats and superficially raise his worth on the restricted free agent market? Maybe he hates Gordon?
Either way, it only looks worse as the play continues and we see it from another vantage point.
You’ll notice that Gordon lets go of the ball immediately after turning his head and noticing he’s grappling for it with a a player wearing pinstripes. How will the Magic coaches gloss over the fact that Harris is a selfish stat-padder while the team watches film? Or perhaps they’ll just take the safer route and laud Gordon for his team-first mentality? We’re not sure, but would love to be a fly on the wall for that moment.
We’re joking about Harris, by the way. But this sequence does make it awfully easy to do so, and it was he who was ultimately awarded the rebound and two free throws. Just sayin’.
Led by 18 points from Nikola Vucevic, Orlando leads Minnesota 52-42 at intermission.