An NBA game is for the most part a finely tuned entertainment spectacle in which arena operators and TV producers know the general form of what they’ll be presenting to fans. Sometimes, though, a single thing goes terribly wrong and causes an unfortunate problem that throws off the whole operation. It could be a leak in the roof, a broken shot clock, or even a faulty air conditioner. Such bad fortune could strike at any time to puncture the NBA’s shield of professionalism.
Monday’s game between the host Houston Rockets and visiting Washington Wizards featured an especially odd delay. Just 48 seconds into the game, referees found that the rim at one end of the floor was bent. Dwight Howard tried to move it back into place by hanging on the rim, but he had little luck despite several tries. Arena operators eventually had to bring out a brand new basket stanchion as a replacement. Take a look:
The delay took 35 minutes in all, enough time to turn a normal 7 p.m. start into one of the night’s late-running games. The Rockets broadcast on Root Sports ended up airing part of a team news magazine to pass the time. Fans in the arena had to be entertained by mascot Clutch (via SB Nation):
It’s not clear what specifically happened to bend the rim. However, Grantland’s Zach Lowe tweeted that another player noticed a problem with a rim before a game earlier this season:
Whatever the cause, the Wizards didn’t seem especially hurt by the hassle of an unforeseen delay on the road. They held a one-point lead at the half and added to it directly after the break.
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