DENVER — The rim was bent, and no one seemed to know how to fix it, and for 35 minutes Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets players struggled to stay warm in a bizarre scene Sunday night that left Celtics star Jaylen Brown furious.
Boston’s Robert Williams III appeared to be the culprit, after he hung on the rim after a thunderous dunk with 8:06 left in the fourth quarter. Soon after, that ledge was tilted slightly to the left.
“I didn’t know I had done it until my colleagues started blaming me,” Williams said.
After a timeout with 6:43 left and the Nuggets leading 110-97 in a game for the NBA conference leaders, officials called the arena crew to level the ledge. At first, two workers came out with a ladder and some tools, including a level. But there were problems. A crew member got his phone. Another ladder and more crew members appeared.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone described the situation as a “buzz kill”.
“There’s a joke there. How many players are required to fix an edge in an NBA game?” Malone said.
As the delay continued, players found unique ways to pass the time. Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon ran from the sideline to the sideline. Marcus Smart of Boston decided to do just that Sitting alone near the opposite free throw line.
The Nuggets attempted to entertain audiences with games on the big screen and a steady diet of hits from the 80’s and 90’s on the sound system. Grant Williams from Boston He started dancing to one tune.
At one point, a close-up appeared on the video board of a crew member level above the ledge. Show that it is still twisted. The crowd booed as if the referee had just made a bad call against the Nuggets.
“I wish they had changed the edge right away,” said Mallon.
Instead, the delay was extended to 20 minutes. Then a worker removed the ledge from the backboard to look at it. Players jumped up and down to try to stay warm.
“They said if it came down to a certain amount of time there would be a warm-up,” Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzola said.
The delay began to irritate Brown.
He said, “There was no connection.”
Finally one of the workers put the edge back on top and it looked like it was level. The crowd cheered as teams ran across the throwing lines midway through the fourth quarter to lose the ball again.
Play soon resumed, but Brown wasn’t sure what the problem would be.
“They spent all this time trying to fix it but when we got back it still didn’t seem level, in my opinion,” Brown said. “So we wasted all that time.”
Jokic scored 30 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists as the Nuggets sealed a 123-111 victory in a game that lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes.
“It was about running the business,” said Gordon, who scored 18 points.
Brown finished with 30 points for Boston.
“This is how injuries and things happen,” he said. “This whole process was handled poorly, in my opinion, and that had an effect as well. But fortunately no one was hurt.”
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”
The Rangers dominate the Blue Jackets, and the main test against the Devils follows
Leaders focus on the list, not chasing Lamar Jackson
Joel Embiid vs. Nuggets. The return of James Harden