Local: 503.250.1080
    Toll Free: 866.358.1080
| More
NBA Basketball
Scoreboard|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions

Snake rattles Blazers in AT&T Center locker room

By RAUL DOMINGUEZ

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) The Portland Trail Blazers were clearly rattled by the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals, and they were almost snake bit before Game 2.

A baby rattlesnake, estimated at about 3 to 4 feet, was discovered in the team's locker room at the AT&T Center about two hours before the game Thursday.

It was found by reserve forward Thomas Robinson, who recoiled a few feet after seeing the snake when he moved a bag from his locker.

"I didn't (see it)," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "They said it was a young one."

Young or not, guard Mo Williams tweeted that it was a scary experience.

Rattlesnakes are a venomous species that can grow up to 8 feet and weigh more than 10 pounds. It takes its name from a "rattle" at the end of its tail that produces a rattling sound when shaken to warn predators of its presence.

It is unknown if the rattlesnake found in the locker room made any noise, but Robinson's cries were enough to alert his teammates of its presence.

"Well, it's bizarre to have a venomous snake in your locker room," Stotts said. "I don't know if it's ever happened before. That sounds like an ABA story."

The Spurs have a history in the ABA and also with critters in the AT&T Center.

The stadium hosts the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo each February and its grounds are used for livestock shows during the three-week event.

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili also swatted down a bat that was flying above the court at the AT&T Center on Nov. 1, 2009. Ginobili had to have rabies shots after striking the bat with his bare hands.

Fortunately for the Spurs, Ginobili wasn't needed to corral the snake.

"I think some people here (captured it)," Stotts said, smiling. "They have them on hand at the AT&T Center. They have a specialist."

It probably wasn't a good omen for Portland, which is seeking to even its series with San Antonio.

"Or a good sign," Stotts said. "We survived."

The Trail Blazers will gladly accept any good fortune after being walloped in their first second-round appearance in 14 years.

San Antonio led by as many as 31 points and never trailed in rolling to a 116-92 victory on Tuesday. Tony Parker had 32 points and nine assists, as many as Portland had as a team, as the Trail Blazers never threatened the defending Western Conference champions.

Stotts was asked if he thought someone from the Spurs had planted the snake to rattle his young charges.

"You're the investigative reporter, you figure it out," Stotts said, tongue in cheek.

Stotts was then asked if he considered returning the favor and planting the snake in San Antonio's locker room.

"That thing, it's like Fort Knox over there. You can't get in," he said.

Well, the room with officials Joe Crawford, Bill Spooner, Derrick Stafford and Sean Wright is only about 50 feet away from the Blazers' locker room.

"And I can't comment on the officials," Stotts said, laughing.

Updated May 8, 2014

w3 © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

The Fan's Top Stories

Civil War preview


(AP) Marcus Mariota says he hasn't made up his mind about what he's doing next season . . . The first item on the agenda of the Oregon quarterback is the Civil War rivalry game Saturday against Oregon State. More.

Sherman keys Seahawks' win over 49ers


(AP) Richard Sherman offered one final challenge to San Francisco: "I told their sideline if they threw it my way I'd end the game." He did exactly that - just like last time. More.

Blazers extend run to 9 behind Matthews


(AP) Wesley Matthews said he had a funny feeling on the way to the arena that his shooting slump might be coming to end. Call it a shooter's instinct. Matthews scored . . . more.

Stanford's top playmaker to sit out vs. UCLA


(AP) The challenge for Stanford's struggling offense just got a little more difficult this week. The Cardinal will be without top playmaker Ty Montgomery for the regular-season finale at No. 9 UCLA on Friday. More.

Ducks #2 in unchanged college top 4


(AP) Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State remained the top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday heading into . . .more.

Portland State fires Burton


(AP) Portland State has fired coach Nigel Burton after a 3-9 record this season. The Big Sky Conference's Vikings are 21-36 in five years with Burton at the helm. More.

The FAN's NFL Page


Follow your favorite teams and players - for stats, previews, recaps and realtime gamecasts, make The FAN's NFL Page your pro football destination.

The FAN's College Football Page


Ducks, Beavers, Pac-12, you name it! For the latest stories and real time scores, head to The FAN's college football page here.