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Something weird was up with the court at Staples Saturday, but the arena says situation normal

May 20, 2012, 10:07 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three

You know those situations where you know something is wrong, but there’s no physical evidence to suggest as such? We’ve got one of those.

Saturday night during Lakers-Thunder Game 4, there was something wrong with the court. The most notable example came before the half, when Russell Westbrook, a pretty agile guy, turned to run up the floor with the half winding down, and just slipped and fell. His right leg slipped out from under him. He lay on the court for several minutes holding his hip before getting up and going to halftime. He returned and everything was OK. And if it was just that, that’s not a big deal. But Ramon Sessions flat out slipped on to his stomach in the first quarter for no apparent reason. There were multiple slips.

The natural question was to ask if the fact the arena had to be constantly flipped from Lakers court to Clippers court to L.A. Kings rink had something to do with it. The arena had to be flipped from Clippers to Lakers in the same day Saturday, a double-header due to the back to backs being played because of the compressed schedule (on account of the lockout). But arena officials deny that there were any issues with the court. Hmmm. From the Orange County Register:

The unusual number of on-court slips and spills by both the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder during Saturday’s Game 4 was not because of the ice rink beneath the court, according to Staples Center officials.

The ice has been there since September and there have not been any previous complaints about slipping.

Michael Roth, spokesman for Staples Center, said the referees deemed the court safe.

The referees didn’t have any complaints with the court,” Roth said. “And everything was done as usual in these circumstances.”

via Ice not to blame for unusual number of falls – Lakers blog : The Orange County Register.

So they say there was no concern. But I’ve seen players slip on a court enough to know that what was going on Saturday night was not normal slipping. It was on multiple spots on the floor, and too consistent for there to have been nothing fishy going on.

The answer here, as usual, is to blame hockey, regardless of any actual impact from the ice.

  1. norvturnersneck - May 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    I blame you

  2. dl3mk3 - May 20, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    conspiracy: purposefully done to slow down the thunder?

    • uscthom78 - May 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      No doubt.

  3. buffalobills2012 - May 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    did anybody ever think the floor could be wet from the water faucet that was flowing from kendrick perkins goatee?

  4. broadstbully - May 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    I thought that, too. But it wouldn’t have been worth the risk of injury to Lakers players.

  5. mungman69 - May 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Matt Moore must have slipped and hit his head.

  6. adnan604 - May 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Obviously it was the ice, anybody who thinks or states otherwise is an idiot…we’ve all seen it happen numerous times and it looks exactly like it did last night, players randomly slipping at random places, had nothing to do with landing awkwardly losing balance and everything to do with the shoe just having zero traction on that specific floor…. and these people gotta lie especially the spokes people at Staples, obviously they have to lie through their teeth to keep up appearances

    although I do think that Russell Westbrook slip could have been some accidentally poured liguid that got on the court a drop or two would do the trick, beer, pop whatever since it was literally inches away from the sideline where people are always holding drinks in their hands and spilling them too…

    I had a slip exactly like Russell myself and I pulled my groin, took me months to get back to 100%, first it starts as a groin pull then instead of healing, the pain just migrates to your lower abdomen region lingers there for another few months as well. I hope he’s ok

  7. connaniii - May 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    It is obvious that the slips were above normal, however to plainly state that the ice surface is to blame is somewhat bold specially since none of us know exactly how the insulating layers that prevent the cold humid air from scaping the ice surface are sealed together. The best bet would be the ocasional and circumstancial odd spilled drink on the playing surface. Nonetheless it is a matter of serious concern for the athletes health risk.

  8. obijuan13 - May 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I got it, it’s LeBron’s fault!!!! LOL

  9. uscthom78 - May 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    The staples center crew tried to injury westbrook but no dice.

  10. mungman69 - May 21, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    That’s the only way that the Lakers can win this series.

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