Programming note: Coverage of Game 7 between the Warriors and Clippers starts Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Channel locations)
OAKLAND – Jermaine O'Neal said he didn’t know what happened or how he ended up on the floor, clutching his right knee and writhing in pain.
But he does remember being helped off the court in the second quarter of the Warriors' 100-99 win over the Clippers on Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
When O'Neal got into the locker room – where he was diagnosed with a sprained right knee – he saw the replay and realized he had been knocked to the floor on a bull-like charge from 290-pound Clippers forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis.
O'Neal quickly reached a conclusion.
"I looked at it as just a dirty play," he said.
"I'm not going to go try to dive into somebody's legs," O'Neal continued. "It wasn't a scramble for the ball. I respect people's ability to come out and perform and take care of their family, based on their bodies.
"Either he has terrible balance as a pro athlete, or that was a dirty play."
The play occurred early in the second quarter when O'Neal grabbed a rebound and prepared to throw an outlet pass. Davis charged, head down, and plowed into O'Neal's legs in much the same way a pass rusher might hit a quarterback.
With O'Neal down and in obvious pain, Davis stalked away. He was whistled for a common foul.
O'Neal remained on the floor for a couple minutes before being helped to his feet. Warriors coach Mark Jackson assisted him off the floor and backup center Hilton Armstrong braced O'Neal as he limped into the locker room.
"His head was down," O'Neal said. "Even if you're diving for something, you've got to see what you're diving for. But, you know, God don't like ugly."
O'Neal said that he and Davis will "have a conversation." And if O'Neal has his way, their chat could come as soon as Saturday, when the teams meet for Game 7.
"Anything short of God coming back for the rapture or an ACL," he said, "I'm going to play in Game 7."
Stay tuned. Another subplot has been added to a series rich with a broad variety of storylines.