Watch the full exchange between Canaan and the Wizards' bench in the video player above, which will begin momentarily.
Isaiah Canaan, a second-round draft pick of the Houston Rockets in 2013, is in basketball purgatory, otherwise known as the Philadelphia 76ers. He led them back from a 12-point halftime deficit vs. the Wizards, but gave his foes motivation after his three-pointer swished in front of their bench.
Canaan, hyped about the surge and feeling good, stared them down for an unconscionable long period of time when Wizards coach Randy Wittman called a timeout.
From that moment on, it was John Wall 21 points to 0 for Canaan as the Wizards pulled out a 116-108 victory on Monday.
"I told him don't do that any more. He made me mad," said Wall, who finished with a game-high 37 points on 13 of 26 shooting, seven assists, four rebounds, three steals, a blocked shot and just two turnovers. "It sparked me. I don't know what he did. I just told him don't stare at my team like that again. He was backpedaling to his bench. He was smiling.
"We're good friends but that's like disrespect. You don't do that. He made me mad. When I'm mad I play better."
Everyone else in the Wizards' locker room brushed off the incident as minor. Wall had 16 points alone in the Wizards' 37-point fourth.
"I Just looked," said Canaan, a 36.6% shooter from three-point range for his career. "They said something. Before I shot it, they were just like, 'He ain't gonna make that. He missing.' When I made it I just turned around and just looked at them. I didn't even say nothing. I just stared at them."
Canaan, a spot starter on a historically bad team who finished with 13 points, scored as many points after his three-pointer with 6:36 left in the third as Kelly Oubre, Drew Gooden and Jarell Eddie for the Wizards who didn't play at all.
"He didn't say anything," said Wizards forward Markieff Morris, confirming Canaan's account. "He just looked. He felt hot. Made a big shot, I guess."
Canaan was 0-for-3 in the fourth as the Sixers (8-52) lost for the 13th time in 14 games. The Wizards (29-30) won their sixth in a row at home to move one game away from .500.
Wall looks for the slightest motivation as an excuse to put his foot on the gas pedal. That moment, no matter how small, was it.