The Portland Trail Blazers, blown out by the Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, had enough reason to feel uncomfortable heading into Thursday’s Game 2 in San Antonio. Then they found a big snake in their locker room.
The unexpected guest was discovered by Portland’s Thomas Robinson a couple of hours before tip-off while he was changing at his locker. The 6-foot-10 forward said he reacted to the snake, which reportedly was about 3 or 4 feet long, by screaming and leaping "about 5 feet high and 20 feet back."
"I just put my shoes down and once I put my shoes down I double looked and I seen a snake sitting there," Robinson told the Trail Blazers’ website. "After that, I got away from it. I just seen something curled up and I looked again and it was a snake. No one believed me until they looked in there. It hissed, I backed up."
Teammate Mo Williams posted photos on Twitter — and showed Robinson wasn’t the only player to admit he was scared.
We get in the lockerroom n its a damn snake, yea a snake in the lockerroom. Man we was scared as hell http://t.co/zST2ivnxhJ
“It’s bizarre to have a venomous snake in your locker room,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters. “I don’t know if it’s happened before. That sounds like an ABA story.”
AT&T Center security jumped into action after being alerted to the snake, which team officials said was not venomous, by trapping the snake by the head and removing it in a trash can before releasing it safely in the wild.
No one was able to explain how the snake ended up in the Portland locker room, but some joked it could be the work of San Antonio’s Danny Green, who has several snakes as pets.
"That’s the No. 1 suspect right there," Trail Blazers guard Will Barton jokingly told ESPN.
The Spurs’ home arena is no stranger to wild animals making unwanted visits. On Halloween in 2009, Manu Ginobili famously swatted a bat out of the air on the court.