March 5, 2013
The court-side seat was vacant, ready to be used. In the waning seconds of a hard-fought game on the road against the Chicago Bulls, Luke Walton deflected an in-bound pass into the corner where he and Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich would fight to obtain the loose ball. Walton dove out of bounds, deflected the ball off of Hinrich's leg and promptly swung his body around where he would fall perfectly in to a chair placed between two Bulls fans. Walton quickly sprung up with his right-arm stretched toward the Cavaliers' basket, signaling posession. The baseline referree agreed. The Cavaliers bench errupted.
Kyrie Irving, who executed-a similar play-in a recent win over Boston, had an ear-to-ear smile. Anderson Varejao, who has made a living off of these hustle-based plays,-drew a scowl and pumped his fist in Walton's direction, excitedly approving of the sequence. Walton, after all, had just sealed a victory - one wherein his presence was integral well beyond the box score. It was not just t...