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A tiny oral history of comedian Tony Roberts sneaking onto court during New Orleans Pelicans warmups

A tiny oral history of comedian Tony Roberts sneaking onto court during New Orleans Pelicans warmups

This story seems within the 20th anniversary subject of ESPN The Journal. Subscribe today!

The sport itself is barely a blip on the NBA radar: Within the Pelicans’ first recreation since DeMarcus Cousins was misplaced for the yr, the Blake Griffin-led Clippers beat New Orleans 112-103.

In truth, essentially the most memorable second got here at halftime, when comedian Tony Roberts realized that he was courtside in the very same warm-up gear because the Pelicans. This is a two-minute oral history of the viral second that occurred subsequent.

ROBERTS, COMIC/FRIEND OF DeMARCUS COUSINS: Boogie requested me to do a charity occasion on Jan. 27, and he despatched a field of Pelicans attire. I wore the gear to the Jan. 26 recreation, and I spotted I appeared like a participant. So I stood up at halftime and was messing round to see how far I may get.

LINA REYES, FAN WHO SHOT THE VIRAL VIDEO: Tony caught out like a sore thumb — he is brief, and his physique is, um, how ought to I say this? It is not likely like a basketball participant’s physique. His stretches communicate for themselves.

ROBERTS: I am stretching, and I stroll somewhat farther out on the court. I do one leaping jack, then a excessive knee stretch. Lastly, I simply yell, “Come on, player, give me the ball!”

RAJON RONDO, PELICANS GUARD: Tony’s one of my favourite comedians. I noticed him get on the court and thought it was hysterical. However then somebody handed him the ball.

ROBERTS: That is when my mouth acquired dry, I could not really feel my left knee and my fingers would not cooperate. I used to be like a sea lion on the market.

ANTHONY DAVIS, OVERLY OPTIMISTIC PELICANS STAR: I assumed, “Let him shoot!” However the shot …

ROBERTS: Stevie Marvel had a greater probability of making that shot.

RONDO: It hit the facet of the backboard. I will give him an excuse: Say it was the angle.

REYES: The entire thing was very humorous to look at, so I began filming. Then I noticed a cop stroll towards Tony.

ROBERTS: All of a sudden, somebody grabs my arm, and I flip round, and it is a cop who appears to be like like Moses from the Bible. I instructed him, “Man, I play!” and that solely made him madder as a result of he thought I used to be antagonizing him. He shook his finger at me and mentioned, “If you get up one more time, I gotta kick you out of the arena.”

PLEASANT UNNAMED SECURITY GUARD AT RECENT PELICANS GAME: He isn’t working tonight. However you will not get to speak to him, no, ma’am. We’re not allowed to speak to the media.

LESS PLEASANT UNNAMED SECURITY GUARD AT RECENT PELICANS GAME: I’ll warn him you had been right here.

ADAM MENDELSON, PELICANS LOCKER ROOM ATTENDANT: The subsequent recreation, I seen that they had extra guards than regular all alongside the court.

REYES: Inside a day, the video had gone viral. It has been shared within the thousands and thousands. With all of the negativity on the planet, it is superior to make individuals giggle.

ROBERTS: I name myself the 17th man. However I need to inform the world: I’ve a greater shot than that.


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