For a few joyous seconds, Washington Wizards fans thought their team had pulled off a spectacular win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
It appeared, on TV and even to many at the Verizon Center, that Trevor Ariza's last-second three-pointer had gone in. Alas, it was simply an optical illusion.
Veteran Wizards play-by-play man Steve Buckhantz was so sure the shot had gone in that he let out his trademark "Dagger!" call. Phil Chenier, Buckhantz's broadcaster partner, thought the Wizards had won the game as well.
Horror quickly ensued, as replays showed the ball didn't even touch the rim. And to make matters worse, Buckhantz had to retract the "Dagger!" call for the first time in his career.
In defense of Buckhantz, the Pistons broadcasters were also fooled and made the wrong call. But since the Detroit announcer thought the Pistons had lost, his call was decidedly less enthusiastic that the one Buckhantz made:
Buckhantz explained his mistake on a D.C. radio program on Thursday, saying he and Chenier have changed locations this year, moving from courtside to about 20 rows up.
"It’s just unfortunate," Buckhantz told ESPN 980. "You’re at a different angle and things look a little different sometimes. You know, you live by the dagger and you die by it."
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