As the Trail Blazers prepared for Game 2 of their second-round playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs, power forward Thomas Robinson found an interesting surprise in his locker: a live, venomous rattle snake. This raises some interesting questions, but before I address them, let it be said that there is no cause for drama. Could this be more than coincidence? Maybe. But, any accusations of attempted sabotage are mere conjecture. If you saw the game, you know the Spurs didn’t need to hospitalize any Trail Blazers to walk out with a handily acquired victory.
Question 1: How did it get there?
I actually tend to believe someone put it there. I mean, think about how many wild animals you have seen in your nearest basketball arena. Perhaps a bird in the rafters now and then? Large, slithery reptiles do not just wander the halls unnoticed. And of all places to end up – in the locker of a visiting team player during a playoff series? Besides, rattle snakes generally avoid places that are heavily trafficked by people; not to mention places that are cold and shady.
Question 2: Who may have put it there?
I’m going with Luke Babbitt on this one. Now playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, the clearly disgruntled former Trail Blazer had only to travel fewer than 600 miles to wreak his vengeance on the team that cast him aside! Or, you know, someone who works in the building with a sick sense of humor. Maybe Victor Claver is just reeeally passive aggressive about his playing time. Who knows?
Question 3: Can we call for a re-do of Game 2?
The Trail Blazers were obviously still rattled by the rattler. Why else would they lose? Poor LaMarcus Aldridge shot 6-23 (26.1 percent) because he was constantly looking over his shoulder. Come to think of it, Kawhi Leonard’s 8-9 from the floor for a team-high 20 points is suspiciously reflective of the sort of confidence one would have with an unfair advantage. It’s always the quiet ones…
I would say there is about a 25 percent chance that it was an accident and about a 100 percent chance that it does not matter. Maybe Boris Diaw will find a surprise native to Oregon in his locker on Saturday. We still have beavers, right? Nature’s buck-toothed assassin.