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Nicolas Batum apologetic after getting triple-double by launching last-second shot

Nov 3, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Nicolas Batum recorded the first triple-double of the NBA season on Saturday, finishing with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the Blazers’ win over the Spurs.

The problem, at least in Batum’s eyes, was the way in which he ultimately achieved this statistical feat.

The game’s outcome had firmly been decided, with Portland leading by seven points and in possession of the ball with just four seconds remaining. Instead of dribbling out the clock, Batum impulsively launched a long three-pointer that fell through the net as the final buzzer sounded.

But there was no celebration, no running around, and barely even a smile.

Batum immediately regretted his decision, and while his teammates celebrated around him in the postgame locker room, he was clearly disappointed in himself for taking that final shot.

From Joe Freeman of The Oregonian:

“That is maybe the worst thing I’ve done in my career,” Batum said. …

“It went in —  I was like, ‘Oh, no,” Batum said of his reaction. “I didn’t mean to disrespect this team. This is the San Antonio Spurs, the best team from the last 15 years in the NBA. I’ve never disrespected this team. I love this team. I have a lot of friends on this team.”

In the visiting locker room at the Moda Center, the Spurs (2-1) weren’t too concerned. Batum’s good friend, Tony Parker, offered congratulations. Even surly coach Gregg Popovich shrugged it off.

“Why would I be mad at that?” Popovich said. “He’s a good kid. I don’t care.” …

“I know this is a bad thing to do,” Batum said. “I want to apologize to the Spurs organization, because that didn’t show good (respect) for the game, for myself, for the Blazers. I don’t really want to disrespect this team.”

Batum’s reaction, both on the court and in the locker room afterward, tells you that he knows what he did was wrong. This wasn’t an Andray Blatche or Ricky Davis situation; Batum made a poor decision in the moment, and immediately regretted it afterward.

Tim Duncan‘s on-court reaction, though (via Bruce Ely) was priceless.

  1. johngalt1783 - Nov 3, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I concur with Pop on this. No news here. In fact the next time Team France gets together I am sure Parker and Batum will have a good laugh over it.

  2. bleedburgandyandgold - Nov 3, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    That look from Duncan is awesome made me laugh! As for the shot was it unnecessary? Yes. But should people be upset about it? I don’t think so. If the spurs didn’t want him to shoot they could have put some effort in to stop it game doesn’t end until the clock hits zero.

  3. pistolpete0903 - Nov 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    A little perspective needed here.
    He wasn’t trash talking, nor putting down the Spurs.
    He has been a fringe player and they usually don’t get chances of triple double. I am pretty sure I would have done the same.

    And finally, why is this news!!!!

    • dohoangquan35 - Nov 3, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      i agree most of your part,except you call him “fringe player”. a fringe player will not start every game in the season, which he did last year.

    • mytthor - Nov 3, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      Fringe player? Averaged 15/5/5 last year with a steal and a block per game. Borderline all-star caliber young player.

      This wasn’t even his first career triple double.

      • pistolpete0903 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:38 AM

        My bad. I should have checked the stats.
        As with small market teams, they are so off the radar. Not able to see much of their ROY and the team
        I remember a few years back, he was a prized free agent. When Portland was shopping Brandon Roy, many teams were willing to take on his contract provided Batum was included in the deal. Haven’t seen (or heard) much about him; hence the ignorance.
        Blame ESPN!!!

  4. pacers24 - Nov 3, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Why is there a picture of Shane Battier for this story tho?

    Also, who cares about how he got it. That was a shot I’m sure he didn’t expect to go in and it did so good for him.

  5. antistratfordian - Nov 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    I think his hadouken blast to Juan Carlos Navarro’s nethers might be the worst thing he’s ever done in his career. I don’t know.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      Yeah, I have to agree, and +1 for hadouken.

  6. raidmagic - Nov 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM


    Hey man,
    Don’t worry about it. Do what it takes to get your triple double! You never know if the chance will come again.

    -Anthony Bowie

  7. 00maltliquor - Nov 3, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    He clearly didn’t immediatly regret it by the smile on his face in that pic. Look at that look by Timmy though, LOL!
    That’s that, “mmmm…okay. I’ll remember that.” look!!

    I’m glad he made it. It’s the first tripple double of the season. You don’t just get those kinda oppertunities on a daily basis. It’s not like he’s LeBron. Or Rondo during the playoffs. Enjoy it Nic. I hope people really don’t get up in arms about this.

  8. ProBasketballPundit - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    If the Spurs are bothered by it Batum will probably just punch them in the nuts.

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