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Carmelo Anthony is a career 81.4 percent free-throw shooter. He's not the sort of player one would typically associate with mishaps at the line. Yet on opening night, he was part of one of the stranger violations in recent NBA memory. 

With the Lakers in control in the third quarter, Anthony stepped to the line for two free throws. He sank the first, but he never actually released the second. On first glance, it looked like he was pump-faking the attempt. He was called for a violation as a result, with the Lakers therefore forfeiting that second look from the charity stripe. 

There was no immediate explanation for what happened. There is no reason to pump-fake a free throw because there is nobody defending them. Fortunately, Anthony offered some clarity on Thursday when he explained that it was either a violation of an air-ball. "That was funny as hell," Anthony told reporters. "It wasn't really a pump fake. I went up and the ball hit my forehead, so if I continued, I would've air-balled. I was like, 'I'm not taking the airball.' I'd rather take the violation than the airball."

Anthony's version of events makes sense, but is far less satisfying than the alternative that one of history's greatest isolation scorers randomly decided to bring one of his weapons to the foul line unnecessarily. Sadly, the dream of a pump-faked free throw will remain unrealized for now.