The NBA Fan Who Dressed Up As A Player And Infiltrated A Pregame Warmup Will Always Be A Legend

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The New Orleans Pelicans faced off against the Houston Rockets on January 26th, 2018 in what seemed poised to be a pretty unremarkable game in the doldrums of the NBA season. While that sort of ended up being the case, it was still a pretty memorable showdown thanks to a fan who managed to infiltrate the court before it kicked off.

I think it’s safe to assume most people who attend a sporting event in person dreamed about being a professional athlete at some point in time. However, the vast majority of them will eventually reach a point where they’re forced to accept it’s not in the cards and settle for living vicariously through the people who were able to defy the pretty lofty odds.

Of course, there are plenty of spectators who still wish there was a way to get in on the action themselves, and every once in a while, people who lost a bet, crave the spotlight, or simply let their intrusive thoughts win (possibly with the help of a few adult beverages) will decide to scramble out on to the playing surface.

I think a lot of us secretly root for a streaker to do their thing when we attend a game in person. In theory, we should hate that kind of attention-seeking behavior, but I personally get a huge kick out of it (especially when players step up to give security guards an assist).

There aren’t many situations where you’re able to get away with that behavior (although someone at a Marlins game came about as close as I’ve ever seen before he was eventually apprehended).

One very sneaky fan who headed to the Smoothie King Center ahead of that aforementioned contest was also caught when everything was said and done, but it’s hard not to appreciate what he was able to achieve before his spot got blown up.

The time a random guy dressed like a player joined the Pelicans for a shootaround ahead of an NBA game

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When the Pelicans took on the Rockets in this seemingly whatever regular season game, comedian Tony Roberts (who was friends with then-New Orleans big man DeMarcus Cousins) decided to see if he could join the hometown team with one of the most literal interpretations of “shooting your shot” I’ve ever seen.

Prior to pulling off the stunt, Roberts had thrown on some Pelicans merch he’d received from Cousins, and after arriving at his courtside seat, he realized he was basically dressed like every other player. From that point, he had a mission in mind: get on the floor, warm up with the team, put up at least one shot, and capture everything to create some Content for the masses.

And that’s exactly what he managed to do.

Roberts waited for the perfect moment to strike during the pregame shootaround and had an accomplice film what transpired after he stepped onto the court to start warming up for a showdown he knew he’d never actually play in.

Just look at those moves. I think you can tell pretty quickly he is not a professional athlete, but it seemed like plenty of his “teammates” failed to see through the facade; things definitely looked a little bit off, but maybe they assumed a benchwarmer was trying out a new stretching regimen.

The fact that he even got someone to pass him a ball that he subsequently shot is really the icing on the cake here. Of course, he bricked it to the point where it instantly blew his cover, as anyone who was already questioning his identity basically confirmed there was no way he was an NBA player once they witnessed that atrocious attempt to put the ball in the basket.

From there, it didn’t take long for security to track down Tony. While the cop who approached him was obviously less than pleased with the stunt, he allowed him to return to his seat after warning him he’d be kicked out of the arena if he attempted to make his way back onto the floor.

My favorite part of this whole thing was that he probably could’ve spent some more time out there if not for his abysmal jumper. How bad of an athlete do you have to be to put up an uncontested shot in warmups to the point where everyone instantly realizes there’s no way you are the person you’re pretending to be?

At least he got a story he’ll be able to tell for the rest of his life out of it.

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Tj Francis is an NYC-based writer and comedian who covers weird sports stories and largely forgotten tales involving your favorite athletes, teams, and personalities.