Courtney Kirkland refereed the Jazz’s loss to the Raptors on Monday. Then, a player from that game – Utah center Rudy Gobert – tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday. The NBA quickly suspended its season, effective following Wednesday’s games. The announcement came before the Kings and Pelicans tipped off in Sacramento for a game scheduled to be reffed by… Courtney Kirkland.
It didn’t take a genius to see the Kings-Pelicans game should at least be postponed. It was eventually canceled.
Yet, the Kings apparently had another idea.
According to a league source, NBC Sports California learned that the Kings intended to play the game, but the Pelicans weren’t comfortable with referee Courtney Kirkland calling the game.
Kings statement on suspended season: pic.twitter.com/1BpRijIngj
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) March 12, 2020
The Kings seemingly entered themselves into the race.
It stinks to lose a home game, especially with everyone already in place. The financial considerations were significant.
But it so clearly wasn’t worth playing.
Don’t blame only the Kings, though. The NBA was ready to let this game happen. Good thing New Orleans expressed enough objection, giving the league time to come to its senses.