Usually, coaches and assistant coaches can't directly affect what is going on the court. Their job is to put forth the players that will play on the court and draw up plays for them that maximize their talents while also taking advantage of their opponent's weaknesses. But during the game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards, one assistant coach took matters into his own hands.
With 5:44 minutes to go in a close ball game, the Washington Wizards had possession of the ball and were trying to cut into the Nets' lead. During the possession, Spencer Dinwiddie, who once played for the Nets, tried to pass the ball to Kyle Kuzma waiting in the corner.
But David Vanterpool, an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets, tipped the pass while it was in the air, which confused Kyle Kuzma and allowed the Nets to force the turnover. Kuzma and the Wizards had spotted Vanterpool's intervention and appealed to the referees. But the refs surprisingly didn't see it and didn't even try to review their decision.
A slow-motion replay of the incident would show that Vanterpool had clearly deflected the ball and caused the turnover. The Nets would go on to win the game, and one has to question how much the intervention from Vanterpool played a part in that.
Naturally, the Wizards were not at all happy with this. Kyle Kuzma, who was the intended recipient of that pass and got to see Vanterpool's deflection first hand, had choice words for the assistant coach and the decision from the referees to not return the ball back to the Wizards.
Perhaps the NBA will punish Vanterpool and the Nets retroactively. Many fans in the NBA are calling for a punishment for the Nets because of this incident. And the NBA would be well within their rights to punish Vanterpool and the Nets for this incident in the near future.