You see this quite a bit in other sports, but you almost never see this in the NBA. Late in the first half of Sunday’s Game 4 between the Lakers and the Nuggets, a woman wandered onto the court, seemingly aimless in her intentions. Thankfully, security picked her up before she was able to make contact with anyone involved in the contest, and play resumed shortly without incident.
This person apparently had a history with the Denver Nuggets organization, as Craig Sager reported during the TNT telecast (as transcribed by Deadspin):
“The woman apparently randomly walking on to the floor. However this lady has a history with the Nuggets. I talked to a couple detectives, Detective Todd Eriksson who grabbed her and walked her off the court. Said several years ago she was found stalking, following several players, basically banned from the arena. She got in tonight. Taken off. Taken over to the security area back here where — where, supervisor of the police department, Sergeant Larry Subia, obviously handled the case.”
Having been in many NBA arenas with an all-access media pass, I can tell you that overall, the security inside is far from what it should be. The majority of the people who would be the ones to stop you from gaining access to places where you don’t belong range from the elderly to the disinterested, with the majority of these folks being easily distracted.
Luckily, nothing came of this situation beyond the brief but embarrassing video clip you see above. But it should serve as a wake-up call to arena security around the league, especially as the playoffs progress to the point where the game’s biggest stars are involved, and the national television ratings are at their high point of the season.
Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.
In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).
Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.
Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury
The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.
After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).