by Alex Poletti
During the four overtimes of the high-scoring Semifinal game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets at Moda Center in Portland on Friday, players began to call their loved ones in case they never made it home.
“Hey mom, I don’t know if this game is ever going to end,” Denver guard Jamal Murray said to his mother Sylvia after the two teams remained in a deadlock after the second overtime. “I just wanted to tell you one last time that I love you.”
As the fourth overtime loomed, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts made the decision to let all of his players make one phone call in case this was it.
“I’m gonna be frank with all of you,” Stotts said to his team, “this might be it for us. We could die here. So call you wives, your children, your parents, whoever you need to. Take a moment to be with them before we go back out there.”
Sources within the locker room report to The Second String that veteran Damian Lillard was in tears when on the phone with his young son.
“Hey DJ,” a choked-up Lillard started. “I don’t know if I can explain this to you, but daddy may not be around anymore. I have some very important work and I may not be coming back. I just wanted to hear your voice on last time.”
Players from both teams miraculously carried on, despite the pending oblivion that faced them.
“I felt like I was in that one part of ‘Groundhog Day’ where Bill Murray just tries to kill himself over and over,” Nuggets center Nikola Jović told The Second String after playing a whopping 65 minutes. “I was just like, what’s the point of evening being on this Earth anymore?”
Although many players felt despair during the game, some players found the positives in the situation.
“Thanks to this game, I actually had time to go back to Florida State and earn my diploma,” Nuggets shooting guard Malik Beasley says.