Jamal Murray had the dunk of the night…and it was called off

Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images /

Jamal Murray absolutely destroyed D.J. Wilson at the rim Monday night, but the highlight dunk was called off by a truly tragic offensive foul.

In the NBA, highlight plays are a nightly occurrence. They drive the conversation, create buzz surrounding the league and make the game of basketball exciting on a second-to-second basis. There’s a reason the association is more lenient with all those dunks, blocks and crossovers being shared on social media than most professional sports leagues.

It’s just too bad NBA officiating can’t get out of the way sometimes, and on Monday night, Jamal Murray was a direct victim of that unfortunate, ever-growing trend.

With the clock winding down in the third quarter of the Denver Nuggets‘ home contest against the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks, Murray drove to his left past Pat Connaughton. As D.J. Wilson slid over to offer resistance on his path to the hoop, the Nuggets guard had already been cleared for takeoff.

The result was breathtakingly brutal.

Unfortunately for Jamal Murray, Nuggets fans and the rest of America, the dunk was called off as he was whistled for an offensive foul. It would count in our hearts and minds, and possibly in a court of law if there’s any justice and Murray is tried for the murder of D.J. Wilson, but it would not count on the scoreboard.

To be fair, Murray did sort of lead with his elbow. But the contact was minimal, he was already in mid-flight when Wilson moved over, and what else was he supposed to do with his left arm at that point in the air? Put it behind his back?

The Nuggets held on for a 109-95 victory Monday night, and Murray’s dunk definitely ignited the crowd even after it was waved off, but the NBA has to do a better job of officiating electric plays like this. If there’s even a shred of doubt where a call could lean either way it would probably behoove the league to lean in favor of letting the jaw-dropping, jump-off-your-couch-at-home-worthy highlights stand.

Just a thought.

Next. The balletic brutality of Zion Williamson. dark