A bat crashed the Jazz vs Timberwolves game last Friday looking for front row seats and eventually got caught by a bear.
No, this isn’t some weird new modern fairy tale (although it certainly sounds like it should be). It’s actually what happened last Friday before the NBA game between the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
A small brown bat began flying around inside the Vivint Smart Home Arena during the pregame warmup about an hour before the tip. This naturally brought out several support staffers who were eager to try and capture the bat and thus allow the million-dollar contract players to continue throwing balls into hoops without the fear of a bat slapping them in the face.
Eventually, even the Utah Jazz mascot, Jazz Bear, got in on the action. Complete with a large net and the lid of a trash can.
Nobody can catch this bat flying around the arena ahead of the Jazz-Timberwolves tip-off, not even Jazz Bear. pic.twitter.com/U5obXEwmw5— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 26, 2019
There were a few thousand early birds at the Arena to watch the pregame show, and they cheered and jeered with each capture attempt. Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell looked visibly shaken by the presence of the harmless flying rodent, and even stopped his warmup routine pending the bat’s departure.
“That was scary,” Michelle said. “I was not cool with that at all. I’m glad the Bear got him because I would not have finished my warmup. I would have gone to locker room if he was still flying around out there.”
However, with persistence comes reward. Despite being covered in a shaggy, music-loving bear suit, Jazz Bear was able to eventually capture the free-loading rodent in a net.
The whole episode caused LA Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma to tweet: "Where is Manu when you need him." The reference is to San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili, who famously swatted a bat out of the air during a game on Halloween, 2009.
Today, we treat bats with more respect. Bats have become a critically endangered species after white-nose syndrome started killing off entire caves full of the crucially important bug-eaters. Fungus grows on their face during hibernation and prevents them from sleeping properly, causing them to wake up, eat through their fat stores, and then starve to death.
This bat was hopefully taken outside and released. And incidentally, the Jazz won, 106 to 101.
(Source: AP News)