Two recent Denver Nuggets home games were temporarily delayed because one of the rims was deemed crooked. This being the NBA and not a pickup basketball game at a local playground, having a level rim is a pretty basic requirement. In fairness to the Nuggets' rim, it's hard to imagine any piece of equipment holding up after a Robert Williams III slam of this proportion.
The rim could not bounce back, leading to a lengthy delay as a few harried arena workers desperately attempted to get the rim back in place. All of this played out over a televised broadcast in what had to be the least entertaining 30 minutes of television since the most recent episode of "Young Sheldon."
Amazingly, the same thing happened less than a week later against the Cavaliers. Just into the fourth quarter, play was halted as Cavs players complained that the rim seemed off. Were they just upset that they'd missed 12 free throws and were losing by 14? Unclear. But Jamal Murray used the opportunity to sit in the front row and take selfies with fans while Nuggets coach Michael Malone seemed to be willing himself not to freak out on the sidelines.
Weird stuff in Denver. Hopefully, they can figure out what just about every other pro, college or even high school gym staff has managed to accomplish.
You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Uniform
In other this-should-be-obvious basketball news, a pretty key component to any basketball game or other organized sport is a uniform. It helps referees know who is who, fans understand whom to boo, and prevents players from accidentally passing the ball to the other team (most of the time).
Unfortunately, the Texas A&M men's basketball team temporarily missed that memo. Just after warming up for their SEC matchup at Florida, the Aggies noticed they did not have their uniforms. There wasn't a ton of reporting on what happened next, but one imagines it involved a number of cuss words, a frantic student manager racing back to a Gainesville hotel to retrieve the team jerseys, and probably more cuss words. A&M was assessed a technical foul, which meant the game started not with a tipoff but with that most exciting of basketball plays -- a free throw.
Is forgetting your uniform better or worse than competing in two colors right next to each other in the color wheel? This red vs. orange Hawks-Thunder matchup from two years ago raised the question. The whole thing was kind of a technical foul on my eyes.
Who Says You Can't Play Basketball On Ice?
Basketball is popular in so many parts of the country because it's a relatively easy game to start playing. You just need a ball, a hoop and a court -- preferably, a dry court and not, you know, a court that's slippery.
Sadly, it was the third of those requirements that befuddled the Providence College Friars-Seton Hall Pirates game a few years ago. Record February temperatures, 92% humidity and the existence of a whole-ass hockey rink beneath the court led to an untenable amount of condensation on the court and the game being suspended. A very tough look.
Over the weekend, Madison Square Garden hosted the PBR Monster Energy Buck Off -- PBR in this case meaning Professional Bull Riding, not the beloved cheap beer. Three days of bulls throwing guys in cowboy hats around, complete with a corny rodeo clown.
What's amazing, though, is that the next day, the New York Knicks are playing in the same arena! So the arena workers had like 12-16 hours to move all that dirt out, and build the court back.
And maybe it goes without saying, but wherever you have a congregation of bulls, you're also going to have a congregation of, well, bull shit.
Best of luck to whoever had to clean all that up. I would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of a Tom Thibodeau tongue-lashing over why there's dirt and cow turds on the way to the locker room.
Manu Ginobli Puts Up the Bat Signal
Wet courts, no uniforms and bent rims are all well and good. But the all-time weirdest basketball delay has to be the time a bat was flying around the court at a San Antonio Spurs game.
We've been conditioned to be afraid of bats. It's probably because they only come out at night and so we never see them. But it's kind of a shame, because they really just look like drunk birds trying to fly straight: "I swear officer, I only had a little bit of nectar today," you can imagine a bat pleading to an imaginary nature cop as it tries to get out of a DUI.
Anyway, back in San Antonio in 2009, the bat is on the court, players are darting out of the way, fans are terrified, and announcers are unsure what to do. And who comes to the rescue but Manu Ginobili, swatting the bat out of midair and escorting it to stadium officials.
In September, Ginobili was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The whereabouts of the bat he publicly owned remain unknown.
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