one-downsmanship (wun-doun'-man-ship') noun. The practice of outdoing an opponent in a negative way; performing less well than an inferior player or team.

Usage example: When the Pacers got blown out by the lowly Knicks -- at home no less -- it was a classic case of onedownsmanship.

Word Trivia: Basketball is never more fun to watch than when players or teams engage in a match of one-upmanship, like when
Larry Bird dueled with Dominique Wilkins in Game 7 of the 1988 Easter Conference Semi-finals. The flipside of this experience is watching one-downmanship, which is just painful. The Pacers are masters of this art. A few weeks ago, they beat the Pistons -- currently the best team in the league -- in Indianapolis, but have since lost home games to both the lowly Hawks and the craptastic Knicks. That, my friends, is one-downmanship in its purest form.

Eddy Curry dunking: a classic
case of one-downmanship.