Silence of the Lamb: Meaning of 3-point sign remains unclear



Sometimes the high five, chest bump or butt slap simply won’t suffice.

In which case, throw those fingers up.

Select players on the UK basketball team, notably freshman forward Terrence Jones and freshman guard Doron Lamb, have been celebrating their smooth shooting from beyond the arc in interesting fashion.

From the beginning of the season, but more so as of late, Lamb and Jones hold one hand to their face, make a circle with their index finger and thumb and flare their remaining three fingers at opponents after knocking down a trey.

Opponents have been unfazed, so what’s the significance, if any, you ask?

“I can’t tell anybody what it means,” said Lamb, who leads the Cats in 3-point percentage. “It’s just a signal we throw up for a 3-pointer.”

“No comment,” added Lamb’s teammate Stacey Poole, who sat next to Lamb while he remained secretive of the special hand signal.

The reasoning behind the signal may remain shrouded in mystery, but it does exemplify a swagger sometimes thought to be absent from this year’s version of the Cats.

The Cats’ celebratory gesture is refreshing considering we live in a world where football players are fined or penalized for excessive end zone celebrations, soccer players are assessed a yellow card for removing their jerseys after scoring a goal and basketball players hanging on the rim after that emphatic dunk for that extra second get whistled for a technical foul.

These celebrations are fun and provide entertainment. Last time I checked, sports are supposed to be fun and provide entertainment, so celebrations should be better embraced in today’s sporting culture.

The Cats’ hand signal is reminiscent of the showmanship the Los Angeles Clippers frequently flaunted during the 2000-01 NBA season, a year in which the Clippers weren’t the best team in the NBA, yet they were arguably among the most exciting.

That Clippers team was stocked with young talent, including Elton Brand (when he was still a legitimate double-double threat), Lamar Odom (when he wasn’t eloped to a Kardashian), Corey Maggette (when he sported cornrows), Quentin Richardson (when he had yet to experience being traded multiple times) and Darius Miles (when he was still playing in the NBA). All five players were first- or second-year pros at the time.

Richardson and Miles, close friends with each other, began celebrating nice plays — 3-pointers, alley-oops, dunks, steals and almost everything else — with a signature two-handed fist bump to the forehead. (Example of Miles celebrating:

So, is the Cats’ celebration an homage to the former Clippers’ high-flying, push-the-pace young guns?

“Something like that, yeah,” Lamb said. “It’s our little thing we do and we’ll keep doing it ‘til the end of the year.”

The Clippers never explained the symbolism of the fist bump, so don’t expect Lamb to break his silence anytime soon

Just know that the Cats continue to give the finger, three in fact, to those who don’t appreciate showmanship.