Duke basketball: NBA Blue Devil executes funniest flop ever

Duke basketball guard Gary Trent Jr. (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Gary Trent Jr. (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports) /

A former Duke basketball one-and-done is looking like an Oscar-worthy star.

Minnesota native Gary Trent Jr. grew up with a productive nine-year NBA player for a father. So he surely picked up some tricks of the trade before ever starring as a Duke basketball sharpshooter and then becoming a pro himself after going No. 37 overall at the draft in 2018.

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Evidently, someone at some point taught the current Portland Trail Blazers guard the art of the flop. And whoever did must’ve had some acting experience.

With a tie score midway through the third quarter of Monday’s 125-122 loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Trent caught a pass in transition and had a narrow path to the basket. The 22-year-old then proceeded to briefly fool both announcers and his own head coach into believing there was a hard foul by the trailing defender, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Nope. There was not.

Rather, as the slow-mo replay shows, which the baseline official must have seen clear as day in real-time, Trent fumbled the ball out of bounds on his own. While doing so, he comically tried to sell a push from behind by launching his body forward like a torpedo:

Afterward, even Gilgeous-Alexander couldn’t keep himself from cracking up. Needless to say, Trent began to trend on Twitter as a result of his theatrics.

Career-high numbers from the Duke basketball product

Aside from the loss and the ultimately unsuccessful acting job, Gary Trent Jr. delivered yet another solid performance. Playing a team-high 41 minutes, the third-year Blazer finished the night with 22 points, two steals, and only one turnover — from the flop play — while shooting 9-for-17 from the field, including a 4-for-9 clip from beyond the arc.

Monday marked Trent’s first start this season. Nevertheless, he’s averaging career-highs with 25.4 minutes and 11.6 points per game. Plus, he’s tracking toward another personal best by splashing 42.5 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Portland, which boasts two other one-year Duke basketball alums in Harry Giles and Rodney Hood, sits 9-7 and No. 5 in the Western Conference standings but has a six-game road trip ahead. That begins against the 6-9 Houston Rockets at 9:30 p.m. EST Thursday.

Fans will have to wait and see whether Gary Trent Jr. leaves his comedy routine at home.

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