The strangest sequence of 2023 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas played out during the fourth quarter of a blowout between the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers. With Dallas on its way to a rout late in the game, big man Marcus Bingham Jr. grabbed a pass from his teammate and sprinted down the court the apparent wrong way for what appeared to be a dunk on the incorrect basket.
Outlets were quick to clip the video and post it with bewilderment: how could an NBA player score on the wrong basket, even in Summer League? What the viral highlight didn’t tell you is that the officials botched the entire sequence and ended up waiving off Bingham’s dunk — even though he did score on the correct basket.
Watch the play here — with a tweet from Bingham rightfully stating that he wasn’t wrong.
I wasn’t wrong media a do anything https://t.co/IHWrTdDT9D— Marcus Bingham Jr (@marcusbingham0) July 15, 2023
Here’s what happened:
The Mavericks hit a three-pointer to give themselves a 104-78 lead. Indiana rushed the ball to halfcourt, where their coach called a timeout. For some reason, the refs gave the ball to the Mavs, and pointed them at the basket the Pacers were shooting at. Bingham realized his team wasn’t supposed to shoot at that basket, intercepted a pass from his teammate, and ran to the opposite to dunk on the correct basket.
The refs blew the play dead, and eventually gave the Pacers the ball and had them shooting at the correct basket. Bingham’s bucket didn’t count.
It’s especially bizarre that this happened to Dallas because of a similar incident this past season. In a March game between the Warriors and Mavs, the refs set up the play on the wrong end and gave the Warriors a free bucket. Mark Cuban filed a protest which the league didn’t recognize. It was one of the biggest fiascos of the year.
Mavs defend the wrong basket, Warriors get a free bucket pic.twitter.com/XaxKxI3dpG— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 23, 2023
How do the Mavs always get in this situation?
Summer League is an audition for players trying to break into the league — and it’s a chance for new refs to show what they’ve got, too. It isn’t always pretty for either party.