The Clippers' DeAndre Jordan dunks on an alley-oop pass from teammate Chris Paul against Pistons guard Brandon Knight on Sunday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)
Salt Lake City — If given the benefit of hindsight and knowing the reaction that would come from the outside world, most would take a step back as DeAndre Jordan launched his 7-foot frame near the rim for a thunderous dunk, especially if you're eight inches shorter.
But Brandon Knight? Nah. He'd go after Jordan again because in his mind and heart it was the right play.
He took things personally. Not the reaction from the public, which used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make fun of Knight becoming a poster, but of the Los Angeles Clippers clowning the Pistons on Sunday night without much resistance.
"When I step on the court, I don't take people dunking six, seven or eight times and not attempting to stop it. It's personal to me," said Knight with crutches under his arms after sustaining a "severe" ankle injury in the first quarter of Monday's 103-90 loss to the Utah Jazz.
"Where I'm from and where I grew up, you just don't let that happen."
He wasn't dejected or upset about the turn of events; Knight was merely thankful his left ankle wasn't broken and genuinely laughed about the situation.
"For me, you're gonna get dunked on," Knight said. "It won't be the last time. I've dunked on people, this season actually. It'll happen plenty more times. It's the Clippers and that's what they're known for."
Knight knows the rules of engagement, the unspoken waiver players sign upon entering basketball's terrain at a young age. From the playground to the lavish stage of the NBA.
If you get dunked on, you get clowned. Same goes for getting crossed over in a spectacular way.
Both things have happened to Knight in recent weeks, but he's far less concerned about it than the public at large.
"Just the culture of today," Knight said. "People take stuff and make it a much bigger deal. I can laugh at it, it's funny to me. (Jordan) is very athletic. I'd jump again, that's just the guy I am."
"It's unfortunate I'm not 6-11 to be able to stop it. It was a good play, a great play. I'd jump again. With my stature it didn't turn out with a block."
It's a shame, most around the game feel, that so much attention has been placed on a play that's only worth two points in a 30-point beating.
"I mean, it's gonna happen. Instead of me being mad about it, it was a good play," Knight said. "You laugh when you see other people get caught. The type of guy I am, it's not gonna break my confidence. I've worked too hard to have my confidence broken over one play."
Knight understands how things go in today's game, and he shares laughs with his close circle while also still being very upset, very quietly, about the state of his team. What he doesn't know is the measure of respect he's earned that will serve him well in the long-term.
"People can say what they want and try to hassle me but it only adds more fuel to the fire and motivates me," Knight said. "Me and my friends we laugh about it.
"Today's society, depending on who you people are ready to jump on you. For that to happen, just any situation people are quick to jump in a negative way."
As for his ankle injury, he has no idea about the long-term prognosis, nor is he bitter about the last 24 hours. It's a step in a larger plan, he firmly believes. So the jokes can keep coming, he's not remotely concerned about it.
"Everything happens for a reason. You can take the good with the bad. From what I saw (the ankle) isn't broken. That's a positive to take from this."
"It just happens sometimes. I'm the type of guy, whatever happens I'm content with it. I've put in the time and the effort, so it'll go the way it's supposed to when you do that. I'd do it again."