Anfernee Simons was on the 36th floor of his hotel room Friday night when the earth began to move.
“You could feel the whole room shaking. It was kind of scary,” said Simons, who had a team-high 15 points for the Portland Trail Blazers in a 93-73 loss to the Detroit Pistons in the Vegas Summer League on Saturday.
Two games were halted in the second half Friday and another canceled outright when the effects of a 7.1-magnitude earthquake approximately 150 miles away in California rolled through Southern Nevada. Officials were especially concerned about the stability of the large scoreboard that hangs over the court at the Thomas & Mack Center which began swaying with the quake.
“After a thorough survey was completed this morning by two separate independent structural engineers, Thomas & Mack and Cox have both been deemed safe to open,” the NBA said in a statement Saturday.
After thorough structural surveys were completed this morning, Thomas & Mack and Cox have both been deemed safe to open.
— NBA (@NBA) July 6, 2019
Summer League executive director Warren LeGarie said the engineers didn’t find any reasons to be concerned.
When asked if he worried Saturday’s games were in jeopardy, LeGarie said, “How about having a Summer League? Because no matter what, if that was going to be an issue, it was going to be hard to play here. There are no alternative sites to be able to accomodate this many teams.”
Trail Blazers guard Gian Clavell played at Colorado State and is familiar with the Thomas & Mack court. He said he wasn’t concerned about the scoreboard over his head.
“Once you step on the court, you’re not thinking about that,” he said.
First-rounders haven’t played
A number of first-round picks haven’t debuted at Vegas Summer League because of the league’s moratorium on trades and free-agent acquisitions. Though the moratorium was lifted early Saturday, players such as De’Andre Hunter, Jarrett Culver, Jaxson Hayes and Brandon Clarke have not yet played with their new teams while the league was processing their draft-day trades.
Hunter was technically drafted No. 4 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, but his rights were shipped to the Atlanta Hawks. Culver was drafted No. 6 by the Phoenix Suns and traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Hayes (No. 8 overall to the Hawks, traded to the New Orleans Pelicans) and Clarke (No. 21 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, traded to the Memphis Grizzlies) are among a stable of other players who have sat out during Summer League.
LeBron, Davis back for Day 2
Los Angeles Lakers standout LeBron James and soon-to-be teammate Anthony Davis returned to the Thomas & Mack to watch the Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers. They spoke before the game to Clippers executive Jerry West, who helped his team agree to a deal with reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard on Friday night.