Dahntay Jones is an incredibly mediocre basketball player. The 13-year journeyman has played for ten teams throughout his professional career, sucking for pretty much every one of them, including two separate stints with the D-League’s Fort Wayne Red Ants and one earlier this year with the Grand Rapids Drive who apparently are real.
Dahntay Jones is so bad at basketball that he’s not even the best Dahntay Jones to have played in the NBA. That honor goes to Dantae’ Jones, the former Mississippi State small forward who played one year with the Boston Celtics before getting blackballed from the NBA for spelling his name with an apostrophe.
But despite the fact that Dahntay Jones has no discernable basketball skills, for two minutes and eighteen seconds of last night’s must-win game six, he was given legitimate, actual playing time.
It was unclear if Tyronn Lue intended to give Dahntay playing time in the first place. Rumor has it that with 2:18 to go in the second quarter he actually gestured for Richard Jefferson to enter the game, but Dahntay, one of those super-annoying cheerleader dudes who is always super-excited about everything, jumped up, ripped off his warmups, and immediately ran to the scorer’s table.
Before anyone knew it, Dahntay was on the floor. So I grabbed my trusty pen, fetched a blank notepad, and recorded a possession-by-possession breakdown of Dahntay’s improbable run.
Possession 1: “You got shootah.”
With the Cavs leading 54 to 38, Dahntay enters the game as Klay Thompson steps to the line to shoot two free throws. Dahntay is wearing a black calf compression thingie on his left leg and a white shooting sleeve (also known as a Sleeverson™, named after the late, great Allen Iverson) on his right arm. I cannot quite tell from my spot on the couch, but it looks as if Dahntay does in fact have his shoes on the correct feet.
Dahntay takes his place on the outside of the paint in prime position to box out the shooter. He immediately puts his hands on his knees, tugging at his shorts, clearly exhausted from making his way in from the scorer’s table. After Klay sinks his first shot, Dahntay wanders into the lane and slaps five with LeBron James who is standing on the opposite block. It is unclear why they exchange dap, as Dahntay has done nothing. He has literally done nothing. In fact, the Warriors just scored a point, something that Dahntay seems to be completely oblivious of. But I guess he’s just excited to be out there, which is nice for him.
As Thompson gets ready to shoot his second foul shot, it is unclear if Dahntay is aware of which basket the Cavs are actually defending. When Klay’s shot clangs off the rim, Dahntay just kinda freezes like an eight-year-old, as if he’s unsure if he’s allowed to enter the paint or not, and Klay sneaks by him for an easy offensive rebound. Twenty seconds later, after Steph Curry is fouled going after a loose ball, Jeff Van Gundy remarks that “A team should NEVER give up an offensive rebound after a free throw miss.” Dahntay is absolutely 100% responsible for the gaff, and I would feel sorry for him, but he went to Duke.
Possession 2: “NOPE. Thank you.”
As Steph goes to the line (and LeBron whines to the ref near midcourt), our good buddy Dahn-Dahn Noodles sets up shop on the low block. After Steph hits the first free throw, LeBron gestures for Dahntay to get the hell outta there and Dahntay listens like the well-behaved submissive that he is.
Possession 3: “Dahntay! Corner! Pronto!”
Here we go! Donnie’s first offensive possession. This should be good.
Immediately, Donnie Brasco sprints to the deep corner, where he sets up shop and once again tugs at his shorts with his hands on his knees. All this running up and down the floor, well, just up the floor, must be exhausting.
After the Cavs turn it over, Dahntay runs back on D and gets J’d up by Klay Thompson who stops and pops just inside the free throw line.
As soon as the ball goes through the net, Dahntay does this weird little two-handed underhand touch pass to no one in particular, almost like a volleyball underhand set shot, and the ball softly bounces behind the basket forcing LeBron to walk around the stanchion to retrieve it. I’m not sure what Dahntay was going for here, he might have just been jacked up with nervous energy, and I know it sounds like I’m making this up, but I’m not.
Possession 4: “Let’s goooooooo!”
Okay, this is probably the greatest moment of Dahntay’s life.
After starting the possession in his favorite right corner spot, far away from any bit of action that could possibly take place on a basketball court, Dahntay runs through to the opposite corner, then flashes high to the free throw line, RECEIVES A PASS from 12-time All Star LeBron James, and then hits a hanging, double-pumping layup AND ONE over Draymond Green.
As you can see from the photo, the contact was brutal. It's shocking that Draymond is not ejected.
Dahntay immediately screams and flexes his muscles, not over his head like Draymond likes to do, but out in front of him, as if he’s wringing out a towel or rowing a boat. He then high fives literally every person he can get his hands on. Then, after he calms himself down, Dahntay strolls to the line and hits his free throw, completing the three-point play, and then subsequently slaps himself in the chest. He seems very, very proud of himself despite the fact that his drawstring is clearly sticking out of the top of his shorts.
Possession 5: “The Scorpion”
Wow, this guy is really something. I’ve truly never seen anyone play basketball like him.
After losing his man on defense (Shaun Livingston), Dahntay ends up on Draymond Green (uh oh) and boxes him out with all of his might. As Draymond tries to climb his back for the offensive board, Dahntay does this weird scorpion leg kick …
… and draws the foul. Then, in typical spaz-o-rama fashion, Dahntay does a double fist pump leg kick COMBO …
… a move that I frankly haven’t seen since my three year-old nephew pulled a temper-tantrum last week at Best Buy.
For those scoring at home, that was TWO leg kicks in two seconds, otherwise known as a Double Jack-Knife Special.
Possession 6: “Whatchoo know about 75% career free throw shooters?”
As Dahntay makes his way to the opposite free throw line, Mike Breen says, out loud, “Big minutes from Dahntay Jones to close out the half here!” I am flabbergasted that Breen knows his name.
Dahntay makes both free throws, he now has FIVE POINTS, then slaps himself on the butt as he makes his way back down court (seriously).
Possession 7: “He climbin’ me, ref!”
After someone on Golden State misses a jumper, Dahntay attempts his patented Scorpion Box Out again, but Shaun Livingston out leaps him and taps the ball out to a teammate. The ball is then swung to Andre Iguodala who misses a jumper, and the rebound pretty much falls right to Dahntay. He quickly hot potatoes the ball to a teammate, any teammate, doesn’t matter, just get this ball out of his hands immediately, good god don't let him dribble, do not let him dribble.
Possession 8: “The Last Waltz”
On Dahntay’s final possession, he once again takes his customary place in the far right corner and watches other people play basketball.
The buzzer sounds signaling the end of the half, the players make their way off the court and Dahntay’s run is officially over.
Later in the night, with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Dahntay is reinserted into the game during garbage time. He does absolutely nothing, a fitting end to this post, and an even more fitting end to a shi**y basketball player’s shi**y basketball career.
Final stat line: 4 mins, 5pts, 1-1 FG, 2-2 FT, 1 rebound, 1 blocked shot that I totally missed, 1 scorpion kick, two fist pumps, 1 Jack-Knife Special, 1 shaved head to cover up his receding hair line, 1 guy who will most likely not be appearing in game 7.