In the third quarter, Golden State’s Leandro Barbosa tried to make a move on the court at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. He was the fifth player to slip and fall on the floor in a game where even before tip-off some players had expressed concern about the conditions.
Referee Gary Zielinski has seen enough — he called the game off with 2:16 left in the third quarter. The fans who had paid to see the game booed, but player safety was always going to win the day — especially in the preseason. While Stephen Curry recovers and scores on this play — because he’s Stephen Curry — you get an idea of the issue.
“Sorry, but we’re trying to do what’s in the best interest of our players and the Golden State Warriors players,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “We don’t want anyone getting hurt, especially when it’s this time in the preseason and you can have a significant injury to one of the players playing major minutes for you.
“We all wanted to finish the game. But at this particular game, it wasn’t worth the risk.”
The Valley View Casino Center also hosts hockey games for the San Diego Gulls, an affiliate of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Lakers officials believed that the ice underneath the basketball court created wet spots, perpetuated because of the outside humidity.
Fans will be able to get refunds for their tickets by bringing the stub to the point of purchase, the Lakers announced.
Calling off the game before someone got hurt was the only call to make, nobody wants to see Curry or Kobe Bryant or Klay Thompson or anyone else miss time because of the condition of the court in a preseason game. Sorry San Diego fans.