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  • advanced due to unforeseen circumstances.

  • The game tonight has been postponed.

  • Stunning isn't the right word, just crazy?

  • Tonight's game has been postponed.

  • Breaking news from the NBA.

  • The league has been suspended.

  • You think it's it's, you know it's not gonna affect us.

  • Where the NBA, one of our players has the coronavirus.

  • These are things that you're watching movies to play in an empty, quiet arena.

  • It would be different to be strange.

  • We just won't know until or if that does happen.

  • Yes, it was a year ago tomorrow when everything changed.

  • I now want to bring in ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne, our reporter, Royce Young Ramona.

  • You've been working on a lot of podcast big piece about all of this year.

  • I've been all over it.

  • Take us through what you've learned on the quick decisions that had to be made that night with Adam Silver, Michelle Roberts and those in the building in Oklahoma City.

  • Well, right, you know, one of the things that it was surprising to me as we dug into this, which was that the first person who really learned about Rudy Gobert's positive test was the governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, who just so happened to be at the Thunder game that night.

  • Now Royce knows he's a fan of the thunder.

  • He goes to games.

  • But he was there that night because he had a business meeting with a local company.

  • He was his commerce secretary, asked me to go.

  • He gets a phone call about 10 minutes before the game.

  • And okay, there's a positive test on the Utah Jazz.

  • What does that mean?

  • He immediately calls Clay Bennett and the owner of the Thunder, Sam Presti, Rob Hennigan, and they huddle in this conference room trying to decide what to do as soon as they get Adam Silver on the phone.

  • They said Clay Bennett, says Adam Silver, Adam, What is the NBA's policy on this?

  • What should we do with the game tonight?

  • And Adam says, Well, what's the state policy?

  • Right?

  • And Clay Bennett says, Well, I got the governor right here, and it's amazing to me how much of that decision was made in about 10 minutes right before the game, in a little conference room there at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where and Royce, this is where I'll pass off to you because you were sitting right there when this happened.

  • Rob Hennigan and and the trainer for the Thunder say Okay, well, they decided we got to postpone the game.

  • So they run out onto the court and and, Royce, I'll hand up to you.

  • What happens next?

  • Mhm.

  • Yeah.

  • I mean, what what?

  • The most bizarre thing there was is how quickly it escalated.

  • And, you know, as we all know, we've seen in NBA games, that's not a typical sight.

  • To see people running off the bench onto the court, right, as the team is literally about to throw the ball up.

  • I mean, they got the song going and everything.

  • The players are huddling around.

  • And so it was.

  • It was not an expected moment to see.

  • Yeah, what do you remember just from being in the building as the hours ticked by Royce because you went thinking you were covering a basketball game.

  • You turned into being a reporter on crisis coverage, and I felt like we ESPN did not let you leave.

  • I just felt like hour after hour there was Royce Young.

  • What do you remember about how that day kind of went for you?

  • It's funny Rachel.

  • You know, at one point there was nobody was sure if the Jazz would leave either.

  • Sam Presti was actually arranging cots to see if the jazz needed to stay at the arena that night.

  • And I was like, Hey, Sam, can I get a cot too?

  • Because I ain't going anywhere if the jazz are leaving, Um, but, you know, it's funny that Ramona mentioned Governor state, and I remember one of the first moments after I stood up and I went back, Um uh, underneath like and they wouldn't let me go near the jazz locker room, but we were set up as close as we possibly could be.

  • Um, and one of the first things I remember was Governor Kevin Stitt walking right through those doors that I wasn't allowed to go back behind and walking right behind me.

  • I looked at, uh, producer with me that night, who deserves a ton of credit.

  • Patrick Abraham and I was like, That's the governor.

  • I think something big is going on right now, So I mean, look, there was there was so many vivid and visceral memories I have from that night that that just jump out at me, Rachel from all the health officials showing up late into the evening, them shutting a curtain behind it, them arranging and putting on masks and gloves and breaking open all these, uh, testing kits and all these little just crazy moments that happened where they were kind of these out of body experiences of like, I was supposed to be watching an important basketball game tonight, and instead I'm watching a moment not just in NBA history or U S history, but really world history.

  • So it's certainly, I mean, it's an understatement, but it's a night I'll never forget.

  • No, I mean, we've talked a lot over this past year, but it bears repeating the Jazz being stuck in that locker room, having people come at them in hazmat suits as if they all had Ebola.

  • And this is before we all knew what a covid test felt like.

  • And when they were doing all of the jam, it all the way up your nose back to the back of your throat version of the test and having all of that happened without them having any of the experience that we have now, it was a totally different feeling, Robert.

  • I think about you and how many years you played in the league and have now been around the league.

  • And there's literally never before been anything like this that happened.

  • You have this expectation, right?

  • The calendar is the calendar we started this time.

  • We play on Christmas Day, we do this, we do that.

  • And this ripped all of that apart.

  • What did that feel like for you, Robert?

  • Who's been around this game for so long?

  • It almost felt like when you have a strike and all of a sudden, guys, But you knew there's gonna be into that with with covid, you didn't know what was going on.

  • I remember there was some events I was supposed to do for the NBA, and it was going to send me the Istanbul and I'm like, am I getting on this plane?

  • I was so scared because there was no knowledge out there about it was new to everybody, so I called the N b a and I was like, Oh, I can't go.

  • And it was like, Why?

  • Because covid And it was like, You're okay.

  • I'm like, No, because I don't want to get stuck in Istanbul because I can't come back.

  • And it was so new to everybody in the world and we were still trying to function and do things.

  • But the smart people was like, Oh, no, this is not gonna be good.

  • This is gonna be bad, especially people like me who watch a lot of movies.

  • I was like, No, I'm not going anywhere.

  • And I think the NBA handled it extremely well.

  • I think all sports have an extremely well, and we are, as Americans are handling because it was new.

  • It was something we never thought what happened.

  • But we're handling.

  • Hopefully there'll be better days and everybody can return to the arenas.

  • I have not watched the movie contagion since all this started out.

  • Just saying Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content.

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The story of what happened on the night of March 11, 2020 | The Jump

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/14
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