The Sixers game against the Sacramento Kings, slated for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, was postponed due to mysterious moisture on the court. No make-up date has been announced.
The Wells Fargo Center staff tried to first dry mop the court around 6 p.m., but when that process didn’t provide any relief, and a “film” as CSN Philly’s Marc Zumoff called it, seemed to appear on the court. The staff attempted to wet mop the surface, then dry it with industrial heat-based dryers.
“We’re not sure,” Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil told Zumoff when asked about what caused the moisture. “Originally some thought it was condensation, which means from the ice that comes up and the floor is wet. And that’s a really easy solve. Literally you just dry it off and it’s fine. It doesn’t seem to be that, so we’re not sure.”
Players from both teams came out to joke with staff members and gingerly test out the floor, standing around and waiting to play for more than an hour before an official decision was announced.
“It’s more so about safety right now,” Sixers forward Robert Covington told CSN’s Molly Sullivan French during the delay. “Guys don’t want to come out here and slip. That’s their career they can potentially hurt. The safety thing about it is to handle it, then make a consensus.”
While players were clearly concerned about injury due to the moisture potentially causing slippage, the mood was light on the floor at Wells Fargo Center for much of the wait. Kings star DeMarcus Cousins actually came out onto the floor to mop the surface himself, as executives from both teams were seen on the phone with the NBA offices trying to figure out whether the game was going to go on as scheduled.
Ultimately, smarter heads prevailed, as the players clearly didn’t want to play on a surface they weren’t sure was safe.
“Even from pregame warm-ups today we noticed there were a few spots on the court that were a little bit more slippery than others,” Nik Stauskas told Sullivan French. “Just with the amount of cutting and change of directions we do as NBA players, I don’t know if it’s fully safe to go out if it’s going to be moist in certain spots.”
Stauskas called the surface “greasy”, unlike regular condensation that would cause water to appear on the court.
Word trickled out for more than an hour that the game was going to be called, but reports indicated the official announcement had to be made by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. at 8:04 p.m., the official word was given. No game.
The Sixers announced that tickets will be honored for the rescheduled game, and tickets for a select number of games will be given to ticket holders for the inconvenience. Parking receipts will also be honored for a future game.
“At the end of the day,” O’Neil said, “the only thing that matters is that our players are healthy and safe.”