The Los Angeles Lakers came into the Target Center Wednesday hanging onto the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. Kobe Bryant has willed his team back into the race and he intends on staying there if he has anything to do with it.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are far out of the playoff race, but that doesn’t mean they are satisfied with losing. Against the Lakers, they cut a double digit lead down to three with seconds remaining in the game. Point guard Ricky Rubio raced the ball up the court with Bryant trailing, and at the buzzer threw up a three point attempt to try and send it into overtime.
When watching the instant replay it appears that Rubio was fouled by Bryant as he let go of the ball. After the buzzer sounded, there was no call. A dumbfounded Rubio threw his hands up in disbelief pleading for an explanation.
The no-call stood and Rubio stormed off into the locker room.
“I don’t like to lose,” Rubio told the Washington Post. “I hate it. Sometimes it’s tough when you give everything and something like that happens. But just keep going through. It’s tough. It’s tough.”
Rubio has had similar instances of emotional outburst this season, most memorably at halftime against the visiting Miami Heat when he threw punches at the base of the hoop and stomped off into the locker room. If anything, it tells you that Minnesota has a guy that is as competitive as anyone.
For now, the Wolves will have to move past this questionable loss and focus on their next opponent the Oklahoma City Thunder. They may not be playing for their playoff lives as many had hoped, but wins are wins no matter what. As their fearless leader preaches, no one should be content with losing.