Slippery Floor Forces NBA to Postpone Kings vs Sixers Game
The Philadelphia 76ers vs Sacramento Kings game on Wednesday night was postponed because of what the league ruled to be unsafe playing conditions.
According to 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil, the visiting Sacramento Kings first brought up the slippery Wells Fargo Center floor during their shootaround at around 4 p.m.
However, John Page, president of the Wells Fargo Center Complex, said they did not find out about the conditions until shortly before doors opened to the public at 6 p.m. The arena was also host to a game for area children this afternoon, and nothing was reported about the floor conditions at that time.
The Sixers are tenants of the Wells Fargo Center and do not manage its operation.
They have not yet determined why there was a delay between when the Kings reported the conditions and when the Wells Fargo Center Complex took action, or whether that extra time could have salvaged the game.
The game will be rescheduled. The exact date is not yet known, and will be determined largely by the NBA, in conjunction with the Sixers and the Kings.
“This building’s run really well. So it’s really unfortunate,” Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil said after the decision was announced. “I know this is a tremendous inconvenience for the fans, and I certainly apologize on behalf of the organization.
“Obviously there’s nothing more important than the health, wellness, safety of our players,” O’Neil continued. “The league makes the call, but it was a pretty unanimous decision (to) do what’s in the best interest of our players.”
Page said they have not yet determined the cause of the slippery conditions. Neither the weather nor the pregame floor preparation have been ruled out as possible contributing factors.
“Sometimes humidity is our biggest opponent. We’ll (also) look at how we prepare for a game,” Page said. “So we need to go back and really assess where we are and what may have caused this. It’s obviously a very warm day. It’s raining outside. We’ve never had an issue before, but we need to make sure we don’t have this issue.”
O’Neil said that today’s tickets will be valid for the makeup game, and fans can reuse their parking receipts. The Sixers will also offer fans tickets to another game.
Embiid’s minutes restriction increased
One bit of positive news that came out of yesterday’s (non)game is that the team’s doctors have increased Joel Embiid’s minutes restriction to 28 minutes per game.
In addition to that, there is a built-in allowance of a few extra minutes if the game goes to overtime, meaning Embiid could theoretically reach the 30-minute plateau. If the game goes into double overtime, however, Brett Brown is out of luck.
Playing both games in a back-to-back is still not permitted.
Embiid began the preseason with a 12-minute restriction, which they eventually worked up to 20 minutes by the start of the regular season. That was increased to 24 per game a few games later, where it’s remain unchanged for the past month.
“There is constant evaluation of him at different checkpoints. The most recent one yesterday showed that everything is good. It’s really positive,” head coach Brett Brown said before what would have been the start of the game against the Kings. “Over the last 24 hours everybody convened, and they came out of it with that assessment and it produced that type of increase in minutes.”
Embiid received a CT scan on Monday, which prompted his minutes to be re-evaluated. Brown did not know when the next checkpoint would be. The team previously said Embiid’s playing time wouldn’t be re-evaluated until around Christmas.
Embiid joked before the game that he begs the team every day to increase his minutes, but that “those guys, I trust them, and they’re going to do whatever they can to protect me.”
Derek Bodner covers the 76ers for Philadelphia magazine. Follow @DerekBodnerNBA on Twitter.