Laker Ron Artest stood on Trevor Ariza's foot, which happens. The Rocket's shoe came off, which also happens. As the play moved away from that part of the court, both players stooped to pick it up, which is all still routine. Artest -- the player who swapped teams with Ariza this last off-season -- picked it up first. But no, he did not hand it to Ariza. Instead he chucked it into the row of baseline photographers. Ariza's shoulders slumped, as if to say: "For real?"
With Ariza running around in one shoe, Luis Scola attacked one-on-four at the far end, and missed, before Artest nailed a 3 against a hobbled Houston defense. Only after the dead ball did Ariza take the time to put his shoe all the way on, and even then he was late to join the next play.
So glad this game didn't finish with a close Laker win -- people in Houston would have been angry.