'Don't let them tip the ball': Oral history of how COVID dashed March 11 Thunder-Jazz game

The Thunder and Jazz were supposed to play March 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City, but fans cleared the arena before the game even started.
The Thunder and Jazz were supposed to play March 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City, but fans cleared the arena before the game even started.

Steven Adams pondered what playing in an empty arena might feel like. It seemed imminent yet unimaginable when the former Thunder center spoke last March 11 before a home game against the Jazz.

“It’s kind of like if you’ve been to an abandoned town, right?” Adams said. “How you know that this once was a very lively place, and you expect it to be quite lively, and there’s just no one around. And so you kind of get that eerie kind of feel.”

Less than three hours later, that eerie feeling hovered over Oklahoma City. Bewildered fans exited an arena that, one year later, is still largely abandoned.

March 11, 2020, is when the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. It’s when Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and warned against gathering in large crowds. It’s when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus in Oklahoma City, and an NBA game became the symbol of a shutdown in sports and life beyond.

On that day, Oklahoma City had zero confirmed cases of COVID-19. The virus still felt distant. Since then, COVID-19 has killed more than 527,000 people in the U.S., including more than 7,300 Oklahomans.

On the one-year anniversary of the Thunder-Jazz game that wasn’t, here are the words of those most closely tied to it:

Susan Clark, Thunder superfan: Oh, I remember that night really well. Prior to leaving the house I debated should we go, should we stay home, should we go, should we stay home? Because of all the news coming out that COVID was spreading … But Thunder won out, so we went.

Rob Hennigan, Thunder vice president of basketball operations: We had just come off a road trip in New York and Boston. That road trip really started to solidify, at least in all of our minds, that something was going to happen with the virus, the extent of which we weren't really sure.

Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma: First off, I wasn't even supposed to be at the game, but my team really wanted me to go by … We were trying to recruit a company to expand in the state of Oklahoma, so I was meeting them there at the restaurant. I told my son, my 10-year-old, I said, “Hey, come with me to the game. Grab your Sharpie and your basketball, we'll go get some signatures and we won't be gone long.”

Spencer Cox, Governor of Utah, then lieutenant governor: It was right during our legislative session, and I was spending all of my time on COVID. We had a core group of people, including the state epidemiologist, and this is all we were doing until really late at night — working through these issues. And so that game rolls around, and it had been a long day … I told my team, “Hey, we're gonna be done a little early tonight. I really wanna watch the Jazz game.”

John Leach, Thunder director of events and entertainment: We had already been talking about COVID through various meetings and just ways that we wanted to prepare to create a safe environment.

Tom Burton, event security, ASM Global — which manages the arena: We were told not to hug our guests, we were told not to high five our guests, which was super hard for us. That’s why I call them my family. The people that sit around me that have been there for years know me very well and I know them very well and I know who’s there and who’s not there. They’ve become family to me. There’s a few of them that were like, “That’s not working,” and would just grab me.

Chris Semrau, general manager of Chesapeake Energy Arena: But it really became very real, very quickly.

The Thunder and Jazz were separated by one game in the Western Conference standings. Tip-off was scheduled for 7 p.m. on that Wednesday night.

Clark, Thunder fan: There was some sort of aura in the arena ... I couldn't put my finger on it.

Hennigan, Thunder VP: As we got into the later stages of game day against the Jazz, that's when we started to get bits and pieces of information that a Jazz player was presenting symptoms of some type of illness.

Gov. Stitt: I was at the table visiting with this company and my cellphone rang. I kinda looked at it, and I was gonna ignore it, and I realized it was my commissioner of health. I thought, “I better grab this.” So I excused myself, stepped away from the table and took it. And that was when they said, “Hey, Governor, we want to let you know that the Jazz came into town and one of their players got sick, and we tested them at OU Med and they were positive for COVID.” He said, “Where are you at?” And I said, “Well I'm at the Jazz-Thunder game right now. Who have you told? Who knows this?” And he said, “Nobody” … I'm looking at my watch and it's literally like 6:50 and the game tips off at 7.

Semrau, arena GM: At 6:52 I was contacted by Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of the Thunder, asking if the governor could use our conference room at Chesapeake Energy Arena. And (Byrnes) said, “This needs to happen very quickly.” So I literally ran down the concourse, got them into the main office and the governor was then placed into the conference room. In that room, he received a call. I offered to step out of the room during the call. He said, “No, you surely should stay for this.”

Thunder chairman Clay Bennett (left) speaks with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt courtside at the March 11 game.
Thunder chairman Clay Bennett (left) speaks with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt courtside at the March 11 game.

Stitt and Semrau were in the conference room with Thunder vice presidents Byrnes, Dan Mahoney and Will Syring, according to Semrau. Thunder chairman Clay Bennett then joined them.

Gov. Stitt: Clay came down there and I said, “Hey, I hate to tell you this, but we just got a positive case from one of the Jazz players.” You could see the disappointment on his face. What do we do? There was no policy.

Semrau, arena GM: Mr. Bennett then called Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, and shared the news that there was a confirmed case.

Adam Silver, NBA commissioner: We were trying to locate the Oklahoma City health commissioner to see if that person was going to mandate we shut down the game. In a matter of minutes not having heard from that person, I realized we had to err on the side of caution. There wasn’t time to have a board meeting so I made a decision that we had to call that game.

Gov. Stitt: Ultimately we just said there's just so much we don't know about this. We've gotta call this game … There was a sense of, as we were walking through the bowels there of the Chesapeake Center, that we were making history with that decision.

Semrau: That group went downstairs to meet with (Thunder general manager) Sam Presti and his team to determine next steps … That call with those people in that room and everything that transpired just was so significant to me. And as I close my eyes I can see everything. I'll never forget it.

Gov. Stitt: I had my son sit out in the hallway, and we're walking to go find Presti and my son says, “Mr. Bennett, am I gonna be able to get some signatures?” Mr. Bennett said, “(Remington), I'm gonna get you all the signatures you want.” And (Bennett) turned to me and said, “Remington has no idea he's making history tonight.”

Gov. Cox: I'd forgotten the game started at six (MST). So my wife called me and she said, “Hey, what's going on with the Jazz game?” I said, “Nah, it doesn't start till seven.” She's like, “No, it's an away game, it's Oklahoma City, it starts at six.” And I'm like, “What do you mean?” She said, “Well, I'm watching it, and they were there, and now everybody just left and the game's being delayed.” So I turn on the TV and right then I get a text from Steve Starks (CEO of Miller group, former Jazz president). He just said, “Hey, we've got a problem. Rudy Gobert tested positive.”

Hennigan, Thunder VP: There was a small group of our staff sitting in Sam Presti's office just deliberating and trying to gather as much information as possible. And then I would say maybe within a minute, a minute or two max of the ball getting tipped, we got confirmation that Rudy Gobert tested positive … And then Sam just kinda nodded to Donnie (Strack) and me and said, "Look, don't let them tip the ball."

Thunder VP Donnie Strack huddles with the officials seconds before tip-off.
Thunder VP Donnie Strack huddles with the officials seconds before tip-off.

At 7:10 p.m., Strack, the Thunder’s vice president of human and player performance, runs onto the court. Strack is followed by Hennigan, vice president of basketball operations. They form a huddle with referees Pat Fraher, Mark Lindsay and Ben Taylor.

Mark Daigneault, Thunder coach, then assistant coach: There was an urgency to it that you're like, OK, this isn't normal.

Leach, director of events and entertainment: I immediately know something’s up, because that’s never happened in my many, many years of doing this and sitting courtside.

Hennigan, Thunder VP: It seemed like a split second from the time we started sprinting out onto the floor to meeting with the officials. To be honest, not a whole lot was going through my mind other than, don't trip and get out there and make sure the game doesn't start. It was really just like a dizzying experience in the sense that it was so unprecedented and there was so much uncertainty about the virus, and how it operates, and how it's transmitted and how contagious it is. I think we were all operating in this reality of not really knowing what was what.

Clark, Thunder fan: I looked at (husband) Gene and said, “Oh, boy. Batten down the hatches because this may be something.” What is going on? And then I remember Chris Paul walking out and going across the center-court line and asking the Jazz players, “Where's Rudy? What's wrong, what's going on?” … Chris Paul looked so quizzical. I just remember the look on his face of concern and just being curious.

Hennigan: At the time I didn't know through the HIPAA laws or medical privacy laws if I could actually say who was involved or who wasn't. I remember the players saying, "Well, is it Rudy? Is it Rudy?" And I couldn't confirm that. And certainly a few hours later the whole world knew.

Former Thunder point guard Chris Paul and his teammates leave the court once the game is delayed. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Former Thunder point guard Chris Paul and his teammates leave the court once the game is delayed. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Gobert and guard Emmanuel Mudiay were not at the Jazz’s shootaround that morning due to illness.

Andy Larsen, Jazz beat writer, The Salt Lake Tribune: Naturally at the pregame press conference I asked, “Is Rudy going to play?” Quin (Snyder) said he was not going to play, and then I get a message from the Jazz PR director a few minutes after the press conference that said, well, we're really not sure if he's going to play… So at that point I thought something was kinda weird.

Daigneault, Thunder coach: We're kinda conditioned now to be ready for anything, but up until that point, you just took for granted that every game day and every day of life unfolded in a certain predictable routine. That was certainly broken that night and thereafter.

Hennigan, Thunder VP: When we got to the officials we had to explain to them that there's a medical issue going on with the Jazz. One of their players potentially has tested positive for the virus. This is the first time they were hearing that, and essentially our meeting at halfcourt was, "Look, we need to buy some time here. We need to stall because we can't let the game start. And we don't know if it will start, but we've gotta hit the pause button on this." So that conversation probably took 30 seconds and then I remember we were just kinda looking at each other standing in a small little circle at halfcourt and one of us joked that, "Look, we gotta pretend that we're talking here so we gotta keep buying some time." I think the referees were really stunned by it, but to their credit, they maintained their composure.

Burton, event security: And so then we’re standing there and standing there and standing there. Next thing you know, the two teams came out, and the two teams disappeared.

Luguentz Dort, Thunder guard: I didn't even see Donnie run onto the court. We was all on the court to get ready for the tipoff, and I just turn around and look and I see that nobody's on the court. I'm asking questions at first like, “What's going on?” People didn't really know what's going on. When they told us to go back to the locker room that's when I was like “Wow, it's gotta be something serious.” And then in the locker room, they told us that one of their players had tested positive.

Thunder guard Luguentz Dort leaves the court on March 11.
Thunder guard Luguentz Dort leaves the court on March 11.

Danilo Gallinari, Hawks forward, former Thunder forward: I think it was tough for everybody to understand what was going on. Maybe I was one of the few, if not the only one, that maybe thought about COVID right away because of what was going on earlier in Italy, in my country.

Larsen: I rushed down from that press row at the top of the lower bowl to the tunnel, actually the Oklahoma City tunnel on the Thunder side just to figure out what was going on. I figured I'd have a better chance of finding out in the back halls than I would up there. You see important people running around and talking in hushed tones.

Hennigan: At that point Sam, the governor, Mr. Bennett — everyone was starting to congregate in the bowels of the arena trying to come up with a plan as to what to do with the game and if we're gonna postpone, delay or cancel the game. What was the proper messaging and how could we get everybody out of the arena in a safe, orderly fashion?

Leach, events and entertainment: Before we knew the game was gonna be postponed, we had that little bit of a delay there after the lights came on and the court was emptied. And my instinct is not to allow panic to set in or worry. Put something out there.

Mario Nanni, Thunder public address announcer: Silence at that point would’ve been horrible.

Leach: We immediately started bringing out some entertainers and doing performances — just killing time if you will. When we got to the point where I figured the game was probably going to be postponed, it was our Noches Ene-Be-A night. We had Frankie J come in for our halftime. I was still on hold, so I told my stage manager, “Get Frankie ready.” We’re gonna send him out and just let him perform. If he was gonna perform twice, so be it.

Frankie J, Grammy-nominated artist: I’m assuming they’re trying to stall for a little bit and the players are going to come back out. The crowd was great. The energy was amazing.

Frankie J was scheduled to perform at halftime that night, but he was called on early to fill the void.
Frankie J was scheduled to perform at halftime that night, but he was called on early to fill the void.

Clark, Thunder fan: When the halftime performer came out, we knew we're going home. But we didn't really know exactly why. It was just we knew there was something afoot.

Leach: It was about a six-minute, two-song set, or maybe a three-song medley. I got word about halfway through that the game was going to be canceled, postponed, however you wanna look at it, and that Dan (Mahoney) and Brian (Byrnes) were gonna have a message for me so that Mario could announce it in the arena.

Gov. Stitt: I remember just waiting on the announcement. Even my team at that point didn't want me to go out on the floor because we didn't know, is that dangerous? What type of exposure is out there? At that point, we weren't sure, but we went out there and sat next to Clay on the owner's row and waited for the announcement to be made as they were finishing up the entertainment. I just remember looking around, having that knowledge that they were about to make this announcement.

Leach: I think it was email that it was sent to me on. I just opened it up … I don’t know if you’ve seen the video, but the moment I handed it to (Nanni), it’s a cellphone and the screens are really big. His thumb or my thumb had hit the screen and it kinda moved it a little bit. So I reach over to straighten it back up so he can read it.

Thunder fans leave the arena on March 11.
Thunder fans leave the arena on March 11.

At 7:37 p.m., Nanni addresses the crowd: “Fans, due to unforeseen circumstances, the game tonight has been postponed. You are all safe. And take your time in leaving the arena tonight and do so in an orderly fashion. Thank you for coming out tonight. We are all safe.”

Nanni, Thunder PA: I don’t know if I pulled it off or not.

Leach, events and entertainment: We heard a few people kind of shout back or one or two boos because the game was being postponed, but for the most part it just instantly became that chatter that you hear when something happens.

Hennigan, Thunder VP: I think everyone's antennas were up. You put two and two together, I think most people assumed that it was something related to coronavirus.

Semrau, arena GM: At that point, it was working with the leadership of the Thunder, ASM and others to communicate effectively, get folks out safely and start to gather information.

Clark, Thunder fan: We kinda hung around a little bit to let some crowd go.

Semrau: By 7:50, the building was basically empty … It flew by, but I remember every single moment. It was less than one hour from when the governor received the phone call to when the building was empty of guests.

Gov. Stitt: I remember driving home that night to go tell my wife what had happened. And I called a couple of my college buddies and high school buddies and I said, “Hey, get your wife on speaker phone or let's get on three-way with our friends because you're not gonna believe this is what happened tonight in Oklahoma City.”

Clark: We got to the car and we were listening to postgame reports, because we always do that after the game, and then we started kinda putting the puzzle pieces together and thinking, “OK, it is COVID. It's here.”

The video screen reads: "Per the NBA, tonight's game has been postponed."
The video screen reads: "Per the NBA, tonight's game has been postponed."

At 8:32 p.m., the NBA announces a “player on the Utah Jazz” has tested positive for COVID-19 and the season will be suspended until further notice.

Semrau, arena GM: Then the questions started from our staff and guests: Am I safe? Am I in danger? I sat in the lower bowl, or I sat courtside. Was the player in the building?

Larsen, Jazz beat writer: I was freaked out. Not only was there the microphone incident, but we had talked to Rudy from a relatively short distance after that Monday night game (against the Raptors).

Dort, Thunder guard: If it happened to one of their players it could happen to us too and we probably wouldn't know. Everybody was scared, to be honest. I wouldn't say I thought I had it, but as soon as I was sneezing or I had a little cough, I thought I was sick or something like that.

Larsen: At one point CNN is calling me. All these national outlets I'd never heard from in my life and will never hear from again were trying to figure out what was going on.

Daigneault, Thunder coach: We were let out a back entry hallway to the arena. It was probably an hour and a half, two hours after the game had stopped. Never saw the players. Were told to go home and basically quarantine. I slept in a different room from my wife that night … We have a dog that was gonna know that I was home, so she took the dog out front and I like snuck in the house and I'm disinfecting everything. I can just remember being in the guest room in my house with disinfecting wipes, just like wiping down my laptop, my backpack, my suit bag. And then the dog figured out I was home anyway. So the dog barked. It was just chaotic.

A worker sanitizes the Thunder's bench after the players head back to the locker room.
A worker sanitizes the Thunder's bench after the players head back to the locker room.

At 9:22 p.m., the Jazz announces that Gobert, who was not in the arena that night, is in the care of Oklahoma City health officials. The rest of the Jazz remain at the arena for a few more hours. The Thunder will head home.

Lynnda Parker, chief of clinical services, Oklahoma City-County Health Department: All of this happened and then I got a phone call saying, “Hey, you might need to have some nurses available. We might be called out to go do some testing.” And I'm like, “Uhhhh,” because we hadn't done that yet. This is when everyone in the country thought it was happening someplace else. It's not gonna happen here.

David Holt, Mayor of Oklahoma City: There's likely to be 100 to 200 people today that will take a test for COVID-19 and be found positive in our city. And the world will keep turning. But at that moment in time, just one person felt like the world was falling apart.

Parker: I assembled a group of nurses and we put together our limited PPE that we had and headed off to the Chesapeake — to the back entrance. We were met by security people, and I remember I had to go talk to the referees who were quarantined in a room. Then we had the state health department epidemiologist come with the supplies. We had not tested before. We had to have just-in-time training putting on PPE. It was chaotic in a way that wasn't. It wasn't real chaos, but it was just like, what are we doing? Seeing my nurses going into the locker room, it was just, it was like an experience where you're like, is this really happening?

Gov. Cox: Remember too why this was so important. It wasn't just about the Jazz or protecting the Jazz. If there were other Jazz players that tested positive, they had been out there warming up. There was a crowd there. Do we need to contact trace throughout the entire stadium? We didn't know much about mass-spreading events, but could this be a mass-spreading event?

Mayor Holt: People at the hotel where Rudy Gobert was were panicking. The lobby was filling up with people wondering if they now had COVID-19 because there's someone in the hotel with COVID-19. It was viewed like the bubonic plague. You've got 18,000 people who are similarly concerned, and I'm trying to figure out, can we make a public statement that you're OK? I've got 18,000 citizens pouring out into the streets thinking they all have COVID-19. It was that kind of chaos.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder and former Thunder coach Billy Donovan met with the officials after Donnie Strack and Rob Hennigan ran onto the court on March 11, 2020.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder and former Thunder coach Billy Donovan met with the officials after Donnie Strack and Rob Hennigan ran onto the court on March 11, 2020.

At 10:26 p.m., the Oklahoma Department of Health tweets that fans who were in attendance “are not at risk.” Members of the Jazz’s traveling party will be tested.

Parker, OCCHD: Two OU nurses then came and they had some PPE that I thought was better and we had something for them and they were like, “Can we use this?” I'm like, “Yep, can we use that?” I remember it's like, let's share our PPE because it was new … There were four of my nurses who were actually doing the testing … I heard a lot of men yelling. Because it was uncomfortable, but I'm like it's not that uncomfortable. Oh my gosh, you're an athlete, you're a big guy. That kind of thing ... I think they just wanted to get out of Oklahoma City at that point and get back home.

Larsen, Jazz beat writer: I wanna say at 11 or so is when they told us (Jazz media), yeah, we're gonna include you in these tests that the players are getting.

Chris Paul, Suns guard, former Thunder guard: We got the chance to leave that night and they had to stay in the locker room basically. Just calling, checking on them, making sure they was OK. Me and (security guard) Gene (Escamilla) sent some bottles of wine over.

Gov. Cox: The hotel did not want them to come back. Our chief of staff and (Stitt's) chief of staff were talking about, we've gotta find a place for these people.

Jazz players look on as the coaches huddle with the officials.
Jazz players look on as the coaches huddle with the officials.

The Jazz leaves the arena a little after 1 a.m. The team cannot return to 21c Museum Hotel, where it stayed the night before.

Sarah Robbins, chief operating officer, 21c Museum Hotels: They were not planning on staying, so we had already (rebooked) not every room, but most of their rooms, so we weren't gonna be able to accommodate the entire team … There were a lot of people with a lot of questions in our lobby, certainly, but we immediately felt comfortable that we had done everything that we needed to do from a safety perspective for our guests.

Mayor Holt: There's concern probably by the hoteliers at that moment in time. Are we gonna have to burn our hotel to the ground after these people stay here? Nobody knew what they were dealing with.

Mike Farney, sales director, Champion Hotels: I got a call on my cellphone from Mike Carrier (former president Oklahoma City Convention Visitors Bureau). He was working with the arena and the mayor's office to relocate the (Jazz) ... They wanted to stay outside of the downtown area. Mike was asking me, knowing I had access to 25-28 hotels. I get on the phone with Antonella, who was at home as well. She said yes, she had the rooms and would take care of them.

Antonella Rossini, general manager, Residence Inn Oklahoma City Airport: The first question was, “Is everybody that's coming to the hotel negative?” The answer was yes, and so I said, “OK, no worries. We'll set them up.” I came to the hotel to help with the check in because it was obviously a team, so it was a lot of check in … I helped have all the key cards ready and then the check-in was really smooth. Every player was wearing masks. Some of them were also wearing gloves, knowing that one of their teammates had tested positive. However, at this time we still thought that everybody was already tested and tested negative.

Larsen, Jazz beat writer: At that time we obviously didn't know Donovan (Mitchell) also would test positive the next day, too.

Robbins: Because there were still so many unknowns it just felt like out of an abundance of caution it wasn't worth remaining open just in case there was something we didn't know. We did decide to temporarily close the hotel and bring in a commercial cleaning service for a pretty comprehensive, hotel-wide deep clean.

Gov. Cox: They were the fourth and fifth positive tests in the state of Utah. They weren't technically in the state of Utah, but that's how we do it. That's how we still do it. Wherever you live, that's where it counts as a positive test. The odds of them being Nos. 4 and 5 were just impossible.

Rossini: Rudy did not stay at the property that night because he was already known to be a positive case of COVID-19. He did not come to the hotel. We did only find out the next morning, together with everybody through the news channels, that another player had tested positive. The other player was at the hotel that night.

Gov. Cox: Could we get a private plane to fly Donovan back? What does that mean? What would we do when they get back? How do we quarantine them? How long do they have to stay in Oklahoma City? Every single detail we had to work through that night.

Rossini: The one room that we knew for a fact there was COVID in, we didn't touch that room for a month just because we didn't know any better … We decided to leave it quarantined itself. After a month we opened the windows to get air flowing. We did go in with boots, gloves, masks just to be sure that we didn't come in contact with anything. The good news about all this is nobody in the hotel got infected from hosting the team. Me personally, I spoke with the player who later came to know that he was positive with the virus. I didn't get infected. The other gentleman that was with me that night, he didn't get infected either. Overall, it went very smooth. The team did take the time to check that we were all OK, if there was anything they could do to make us feel better.

Thunder players watch as Donnie Strack and Rob Hennigan meet with the officials before tip-off.
Thunder players watch as Donnie Strack and Rob Hennigan meet with the officials before tip-off.

The Jazz flies home the next day, March 12.

Mayor Holt: I remember I kept asking for several days, "Is Rudy Gobert gone?” Because he didn't fly with the team, he was in some level of quarantine. I was finally told he was. To this day, I don't know how he left town. I don't know if he flew, I don't know if somebody picked him up in a car. I have no idea ... It was important to know whether he was gone because he was still our only case.

Gov. Cox: I hate that Rudy has been unfairly targeted with that. I made the argument back then: I really think that what happened there and getting those tests and understanding that he had it saved thousands of lives … There had to be an event, and it just happened that it was that game that caused it.

Mayor Holt: If Rudy Gobert had tested positive at 5:30, and the game had just been canceled at that point instead of on live television with both teams at the center of the court, does it make the same impact? It was as if God said, "I wanna get your attention, and I'm gonna make this moment as dramatic as possible." And it certainly was.

Semrau, arena GM: It was when I finally got home that the weight of this was realized. I understood how significant the events of that night would be not only for that period of time, but well into the future.

Burton, event security: Here we are in OKC, and all we hear is “OKC, OKC, OKC.” And I’m going, “I was right there. I was on the ground floor.” It’s kind of neat, but then it turned out to be such the disaster that it did.

Mayor Holt: We had pursued major-league status because we wanted to be a part of the national conversation. It's kind of funny how that ended up. Having a professional sports team caused us to be at the center of a once-in-a-century global pandemic.

Nanni, Thunder PA: As much as I remember it, I can’t describe it. There’s no parallel that you can draw to. There’s nothing you can compare it to — ever.

USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt contributed. Thunder general manager Sam Presti and vice president Donnie Strack were not available for this story.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Thunder-Jazz oral history: How COVID postponed the March 11 game