SACRAMENTO — On Saturday night inside the Golden 1 Center, there was a halfcourt heave that stopped the game.
It wasn’t Jordan Clarkson or Donovan Mitchell hurling an end of clock shot.
It wasn’t Kings fans spewing insults to the coach they’ve come to resent.
It wasn’t players throwing up their hands in desperation.
No, this was something completely different — a retching scene for the ages.
Ok, now that I’ve gotten my jokes off…
We could talk about the game that the Utah Jazz won, but honestly, that’s not what anyone was talking about after this one.
With 9:32 left in the fourth quarter, just before the teams were set to come out of a timeout, a Kings fan seated courtside vomited on the court. And then again, and again, and again.
I’ll spare you some of the details, but it was an absolute mess. At first, it was just the people seated near him that noticed after the first regurgitation, but eventually, the players saw what was happening and they got as far away as they could.
“I can’t even lie, I was just focused on getting out of the way,” Donovan Mitchell said. “I didn’t pay attention to anybody else. Just, no parts. I wanted no parts of that.”
Jordan Clarkson and Hassan Whiteside were two of the first Jazz players to notice the fan and what he had produced.
“He was just throwing up continuously,” Clarkson said.
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder also commented on the seemingly never-ending scene and then noted that the fan had been heckling him quite a bit throughout the game.
“He was razzing me through the whole game,” Snyder said. “Well, at least through the first three quarters.”
Good one, Quin.
Once Rudy Gobert looked in the direction of the confusion, and the rest of the players started to notice what was happening and the stench reached the bench, Gobert was baffled by what he was seeing.
“I kind of made eye contact with him,” Gobert said. “He was smiling. He was smiling and throwing up at the same time, too.”
The fan was eventually ushered off the floor, along with the person he was with, but as he stumbled and swayed toward a tunnel, he ended up dragging vomit in front of the Jazz’s bench as he left the court.
The clean-up crew, which honestly deserves all of the credit for its strength and bravery, eventually had to bring out biohazard waste containers to get rid of everything.
The game was delayed for at least 13 minutes.
During that time, the Jazz players definitely weren’t going near their bench and they didn’t have much else to do other than joke about the situation and interact with the fans.
They took some funny photos, laughed about what had happened, did some stretches, joked around with the fans and actually got a nice breather from the game — albeit, holding their noses for part of the time.
“Life is full of surprises,” Gobert said.
Indeed it is.
The Jazz players all said that they hoped the fan was OK and that he would feel better and not be too hard on himself when he wakes up Sunday and realizes that he had gone viral for not the best reason.
Then, as he almost always does, Clarkson added humanity to the situation by admitting what many others were thinking when it all went down.
“To that kid that was throwing up, shoot, we’ve all had nights like that,” Clarkson said. “I hope he’s good. Drink a little Pedialyte, get some electrolytes, drink some water and tomorrow he’ll be straight.”
I’m not really sure what else to say about this. I’ve never seen something like that in my near decade of covering the NBA.
But, I feel like I say that at least a couple times a year. This league is undefeated in its weirdness. I hope it never changes.