When Atlanta Hawks All-Star Trae Young plays basketball, he's not just looking to beat people. He's also looking to embarrass them. He's an entertainer in every sense, and dribbling the ball straight through his defender's legs, known as a nutmeg, has become one of his signature acts.
It happened midway through the third quarter of Atlanta's victory over Portland. The Hawks were already leading by 16 points when Young found himself coming up the right sideline with a good head of steam and Ariza in his path, at which point he messed with the bull and wound up getting the horns.
As you can see, there is no gray area there. This isn't one of those situations where reasonable people can disagree about Ariza's intent. That was a message from a grizzled vet of a different era. Do not try that mess on me, young man.
Ariza was assessed with a Flagrant-1 foul, and you can see in the video that Young, a confident player ever walking the fine line of cocky, not shying away from his own antics after wearing the forearm shiver. He nodded his head confidently, as if to say, "OK, you want to play like that?" A few plays later, Young was hit with his own technical for taunting after nailing a 3-pointer.
After the game, there appeared to be no hard feelings as Ariza went out of his way to pull Young in close and give him a little love, but even the pull-in was aggressive.
"I told him, 'Don't do that shit again, at least not to me,'" Ariza told reporters after the game, via ESPN. "I'm not with the funnies. I don't like the funnies.'"
Which, of course, makes this all very funny.