DALLAS — Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy found himself unable to focus during a timeout in the second quarter of the Jazz’s 120-116 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
He wasn’t thinking about his team, he wasn’t thinking about any of the plays that had been made on either side of the ball, or really anything that had to do with the rest of the game that needed to be played.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had just shot a 3-pointer. As he backpedaled, readying to sprint down the floor, Hardy was calling a timeout. Unfortunately, Hardaway took one small step out of bounds and his left foot landed on Hardy’s foot. Hardaway turned his ankle and immediately grimaced before falling to the court.
“Your heart sinks,” Hardy said, describing the moment. “If I’m being honest with you guys, it was really hard to concentrate in the timeout with our coaches and our staff because you’re just worried that you just seriously hurt somebody. I felt much better when Tim got up out of their timeout and came back into the game. That gave me a little bit of relief. But yeah, not my favorite moment of the game, for sure.”
As soon as Hardaway fell, Hardy approached him to apologize and try to help him up. After staying down for a couple of minutes, Hardaway eventually got up and gingerly walked to the Dallas bench.
The officiating crew reviewed the play, making sure that Hardy wasn’t standing on the court, inside the lines. But it was clear that it was just a freak accident and that there was no ill intent or malice in the situation.
The whole time Hardy continued to look over towards the Mavericks bench. But as he said, Hardaway returned to the game and Hardy called over as he entered the game to make sure that he was ok.
Hardy also apologized to Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd and Hardaway as the teams exited the court at halftime and said he continued to apologize, even though he knew it was all an accident.
“That’s not that’s never what you want to see,” he said. “You don’t want anybody to ever get hurt, especially when it’s on your foot. ... But I’m glad that he’s okay.”