“Did anybody see the Sixers game where the refs started the teams out going the wrong way, then 20 seconds in they go up to the scorer’s table and literally restart the game?” Juco818 wrote.”That was hilarious.” It was actually 16 seconds but the error remains the same. Philadelphia were playing the Timberwolves in 2014 when this weird moment happened to the audience’s confusion, causing the strangest of starts.
Henry Sims was just about to take a free throw when referee Zach Zarba stopped the game. After a brief conference with the officials, they determined the teams were shooting in the wrong direction. Luckily, the game was only seconds in and scoreless. But this was still a bad error to make at the highest level of the sport. Zarba had egg on his face yet breathed a sigh of relief in the end.
2014 was the year of technical errors. One of the strangest occurred in the Air Canada Centre in a game between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets. In the third quarter, the shot clock malfunctioned and proved unrepairable. Finally, the announcer took on the responsibility of counting down the time. Meanwhile, an official used a stopwatch to keep track.
“They said it was because some ESPN guy accidentally blew a fuse or something, “Drthurgood wrote. “Still pretty ridiculous that they couldn’t get it fixed though. I was also disappointed that the fans didn’t take advantage and start counting down falsely to either get Brooklyn to rush their shots or get 24-second violations like that college team did last year.”
Ochris said, “I’ll bring up the time that the fireworks set off one of the huge water cannons in the Alamodome at the beginning of a Spurs game. Unloaded tons of water and obviously delayed the game for a while.” Everybody in attendance at that game remembers it as if it were yesterday. The Spurs hosted the Golden State Warriors but lost their homecoming game.
Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the crowd endured a 50-minute delay because fireworks kicked off the watercannon. First of all, it unleashed an onslaught of water upon the crowd, soaking thousands of them. Then the clean-up took a substantial chunk of time to finish. It was definitely one of the strangest crowd experiences ever and not one fans wanted to repeat.
“That one time where a sixth player sneaked onto the court to play and no one caught him, “Ohhlookathat said. This was a real moment that occurred in 1993 in a game between the Houston Rockets and the Seattle Supersonics. Seattle led 101-100 with about 15 seconds left in overtime. But the Rockets had a secret weapon unbeknownst to everybody in the stadium.
One of Houston’s most obscure players, Winston Garland, duly hopped up from the bench and walked onto the court. Then, he stood in the corner and waited for the pass. The Rockets had the opportunity for a shot but missed. Garland didn’t get involved in the play but he spoke to the oblivious referee and told him it should be a Houston ball. It became one of the strangest footnotes in NBA history.
NBA games are obviously played in indoor stadiums on wooden floors. Fans take it for granted that the floor is dry and safe for players to run on. A wet, slippery floor is obviously not ideal for gigantic athletes because they could seriously injure themselves. In 2010, Orlando and Miami were set for an exhibition game but canceled it because of the conditions.
The wet floor was impossible to play on but it disappointed a lot of fans. “It happened at a preseason Magic/Heat game back when the Big 3 first formed,” thisguy012 said. “Played it at the Forum in Tampa and the floor was too slippery. We were sitting in the stands when they announced the game was canceled, never been so p***ed in my life.” At the end of the day, player safety comes first.
In 2013, a young Cleveland fan named James Blair ran onto the court to confront the Miami Heat’s LeBron James. This was obviously never going to end well for him, but it could have been worse. He wore a t-shirt with the slogan, “We Miss You 2014” emblazoned on it. The Cavs banned him for life but rescinded it after they re-signed James a year later. In short, Blair got away with the strangest court invasion ever.
GhostdadUC was in attendance on the day but one aspect of the moment annoys him. “I hate when people say that this played a major part in his decision,” he said. “It had absolutely no outcome on his decision at all and it embarrassed me that they lifted his lifetime ban, that this happened.” He’s correct because James definitely didn’t care what that fan thought while making a decision.
“This was actually hella weird,” JohnnyJonesIII said. “It was like everyone collectively decided to not give a f**k like “Melo does this all the time, don’t worry about him, he’ll get up sooner or later.” In sum, this Reddit user was absolutely correct about this strangest of moments. It was also one of the worst examples of NBA officiating ever witnessed in the league.
Denver played the Oklahoma City Thunder when Anthony squared off against Kevin Durant. He crashed into him and the play went on after the referee called him for traveling. Anthony lay prone on the ground but play continued around him. The referee and other officials ignored him for reasons known only to themselves. In the end, Anthony rose to his feet and continued to play.
“I don’t know if this was caught on film, but I was at an Atlanta Hawks game a few years ago when the actual hawk they usually bring in pre-game to hype up the crowd strayed from its owner during the game and was flying above the court while the game was being played. At one point it was actually perched on one of the shot clocks, just chilling there. I was afraid it was gonna get hit by a stray ball or something.”
Reddit user DontCareWhatYouThink sums up exactly what happened when Spirit the Hawk decided to become a diva. The Zoo Atlanta star refused to return to its trainer and perched on top of the Hawks basket. This was the first game of Miami and Atlanta’s playoff series but nobody expected this. In the end, John Elmore managed to convince the bird to come to him to cheers from the crowd.
“Vince slapped Mo Pete mid-game after VC’s trade, it was a playful slap,” Robotusson wrote. “Mo Pete reciprocated and the ref saw this then proceeded to eject Mo Pete.” This describes a clash between Vince Carter and Morris Peterson in 2006. The former teammates met on opposite sides of the court when the Toronto Raptors faced off against the New Jersey Nets. It became the strangest of reunions.
Carter playfully slapped Peterson on the face to provoke a reaction from his old friend. It worked because it clearly irritated Peterson. He returned the favor, but unfortunately for him, he slapped Carter in front of the referee. The official missed Carter’s slap but had a full view of Peterson’s effort and duly ejected him from the game. It’s definitely one of the strangest sequences of events fans witnessed at an NBA game.
“Remember when the ref ejected Tim Duncan for laughing?”iDemi_God said. This was one of the strangest officiating decisions we’ve seen in the NBA because it was outrageous. The man in the middle was the infamous Joey Crawford, whose penchant for dubious calls is well-documented. This one saw Duncan receive the only ejection of his glittering career because he laughed at the wrong time.
Duncan had a run-in with the referee during the game because he disagreed with one of Crawford’s calls. Later, the referee saw him laughing as he sat on the bench and assumed that it was directed at him. Crawford’s reaction was to dismiss him from the game entirely, much to the confusion of the watching crowd. The league suspended Crawford and he admitted fault for the incident.
“A fan collapsed and died at a Blazer game,” BillFireCrotchWalton observed somberly. Sadly this moment came when Portland played the Dallas Mavericks in 2014. Tragically, Sandra Vickefoose, a Portland season ticketholder succumbed to a cardiac arrest during the game. It stunned the players and members of the crowd because they hoped that she would pull through.
“I’ve never seen, never had that happen at any game I’ve been to and certainly everybody in the arena, I felt, was affected by it,” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.” Sadly these kinds of incidents occasionally happen at games. The worst is when a player suffers a serious injury on the court or playing field because it’s so visible.
“During a Spurs game about 15 years ago, a falling player ripped the button off of a ref’s pants,” JeahNotSlice said. “That was funny as hell.” While this is an especially obscure piece of NBA history, it’s not the only pants moment in basketball. A number of players received citations for pulling down their pants in the middle of games despite thousands of people watching. It’s nice to have no shame.
Ron Artest once tried to pull down Paul Pierce’s pants in a game against the Celtics. The strangest aspect of this was the fact that the referee did absolutely nothing to intervene. This is an illegal move yet he chose to let it go. Meanwhile, Nemanja Bjelica nonchalantly dropped his shorts during a game against the Jazz, but at least he was wearing compression tights.
“The Verizon Center in DC had a rain delay, they had trash cans catching the rain,” BleedingCello said on Reddit. “If I remember right it added like an hour and a half to the game.” This is absolutely correct and was one of the strangest moments in indoor sporting history. Typically, leagues like the NFL will play through all weather but the NBA doesn’t have to worry about this kind of thing.
That was, until 2014 when a leaky roof affected the state of play in Washington. Obviously, players can’t run on a slippery, wet court so it was necessary to dry the floor and ensure no more water affected play. Meanwhile, the Wizards put up a damp performance against the Houston Rockets on their way to a miserable loss. It wasn’t the best night for their fans.
“Keon Clark went into the stands to argue with the guy who was harassing his wife,” Pardonme23 wrote. “That was crazy.” In sum, Clark was a maniac and this wasn’t the only wild thing that he did. The NBA journeyman claimed he never played a game sober in his life. If this is true then it is quite an achievement because there are a lot of NBA games.
Furthermore, he said that he was almost always drunk by halftime. With this amount of liquor in his body, it’s no surprise that he was willing to fight anybody and everybody. Sadly, his life deteriorated and he received a lengthy jail sentence in 2013 on gun charges. Some players possess an incredible technical ability but are unable to maintain a healthy mindset.
We’ve already talked about Spirit the Hawk’s adventure during Atlanta’s playoff game against Miami. But it deserves a second mention because one NBA fan revealed how the players reacted. “Never seen so many grown-ass men act like little girls before,” the fan mocked on Reddit. It was very true because the Miami players were terrified of the bird despite being massive individuals.
“You see Al Horford duck and run, I was like, ‘Let me run for cover as well,’ Dwyane Wade told ESPN. “It was kind of weird having the hawk fly around. It’s hard to play with your back to that hawk on the backboard.” Of course, it was unlikely that the bird wanted to eat an almost seven-foot basketball player. Maybe Wade knew something everybody else didn’t.
By far the craziest moment in NBA history, the Malice at the Palace was a national scandal. It saw the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons go to war in Auburn Hills. Forget the strangest, this was the wildest in-house brawl ever seen because players fought spectators as well as each other. Overall it was a shameful incident. Ron Artest received a massive ban for his role in the brawl, but many players were involved.
The refs did not receive nearly enough blame for contributing to that ordeal, HolySpaghetti said about the incident. “Ben Wallace shoved Artest, HARD (in the face), for really no reason. It was the waning moments of the game, and the right thing would have been to immediately eject Wallace since he was hot and Artest (known for his anger) was clearly going to be fuming.” Sometimes referees don’t take responsibility.