The Day The NBA Stood Still: A first-hand account from inside Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night for what was supposed to be the Sacramento Kings game.
The NBA has an eventful and unprecedented day on Wednesday, as the league announced that games would be suspended until further notice following the developing COVIT-19 issue and the Rudy Gobert situation. One of the games most adversely affected was the game between the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans, which was scheduled to be on national television.
After initial reports that the game would go on as scheduled, it was cancelled just moments before tip off as the news began to rock the sports world.
We were able to speak to a handful of people who were in attendance at Golden 1 Center last night in Sacramento, and they were kind enough to answer some questions for us regarding the events that unfolded as the night progressed.
Q: Did you have any reservation about attending tonight’s game beforehand? Any concern?
“I was mildly concerned about going and during the past few days anticipated that the game might be cancelled. As news unfolded leading up to the planned game start I did start to feel a little uneasy about being there.”
– Paul G.
“The reservations I had were mostly because I had a feeling the game would be postponed. Every event after the OKC-Utah game was cancelled made me more and more sure there would be no game tonight.”
– Ryan P
Q: What was the mood like between the time that the NBA said the game would go on and the moment they cancelled?
“I attended a ‘pre-game mixer’ which was held under the main concourse on the court level. While walking down the corridor towards the pregame event, my friend and I passed by Richard Jefferson and ~6-8 other people who were in the middle of a tense-looking conversation. When they saw us coming the entire group went silent and appeared concerned or worried. My friend and I noticed immediately that they didn’t want us to hear what they were talking about. That encounter happened at ~6:40pm… after the OKC/Utah game was postponed, but before Gobert’s positive test was announced.”
– Paul G.
“Everyone felt on edge. Looking around you could see everyone on their Twitter/BR/ESPN app checking out the latest updates on what was happening. Plus the kings players sort of trickled out of the locker room which was odd, the pels never stepped on the floor, the normal guy who is talking/being funny over the PA wasn’t there, and then the flag was rolled up and taken away which seemed to take the breath out of the arena.”
– Chris B.
“The mood was awkward to say the least, I was buying beer and the worker at the concession stand was talking about the virus statistics”
– Maxwell Mohat
“The mood was weird, once the NBA said the season was suspended we all had questions but it seemed like the game would go on. I noticed around the 8-9 minute mark of warmups that the Pelicans weren’t out yet and mentioned to my gf that I thought that was odd and to not be surprised if the game was canceled.”
– Jordan G.
Q: Did people seem concerned about the virus itself and their well-being when you left the arena?
“People didn’t seem too concerned about the virus people were mostly just making comedic remarks about it”
– Andrew H
“People didn’t seem too concerned, I feel more concerned now because so much has happened. But I still feel this is a precaution and overreaction but better safe than sorry.”
– Jordan G.
“Nobody really seemed concerned, just bummed because we all thought that this would be the last game. Talking to the fans around me we seemed eager to watch basketball and the history tonight would make”
– Maxwell Mohatt
“Everyone was talking about covid, so certainly people were concerned. The general vibe didn’t seem too much different than a normal game though.”
– Paul G
I also asked the attendees if there was any mention of ticket reimbursement, and they all assured me that there wasn’t as of 11:30 PM Wednesday evening.
The situation with the virus and NBA shut down is fluid, and we will do our best to keep up with the news and keep you informed. Thank you for following us here at A Royal Pain.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.