While it’s rarely done at the NBA level, it’s become commonplace in college basketball (and the high school and youth levels) for teams to shake hands at the end of a game. In the few instances that there aren’t handshakes, the reason tends to be the fact that celebrating fans have rushed the court following an upset victory. That wasn’t the case in Siena’s 78-68 win over Rider Tuesday night, resulting in a hilarious action by Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos.
It should be noted that there was an altercation with just over two minutes remaining in the game, with Rider’s Stevie Jordan and Siena’s Khalil Richard being ejected. During the disagreement Patsos and Rider head coach Kevin Baggett needed to be separated, and things could have been a lot worse had cooler heads not eventually prevailed (both coaches were assessed technical fouls).
When the final buzzer sounded Baggett had his players walk off the court, eschewing the usual postgame handshake line. In a conversation with ESPN.com, Baggett stated that he made the decision because he wanted to avoid the possibility of a second confrontation between the teams. Patsos decided to walked down the sideline anyway, pantomiming handshakes along the way.
Even with Baggett’s reasoning, there will still be those who state that Rider should have gone through with the handshakes anyway. In his postgame press conference Patsos noted that he, Baggett and Saint Peter’s head coach John Dunne “are the three closest friends in the league.”
“It was a basketball game,” Patsos continued. “Things got a little heated. I don’t think anybody meant anything by it, and the league will sort it out.”
The two teams have already met twice this season, but they could play again in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament in early March.