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Nuggets-Celtics game delayed over bizarre crooked rim issue: ‘There’s a joke in there’

A game between the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets was delayed about 35 minutes because one of the rims was bent during a dunk.

The incident occurred with 8:06 left in the fourth quarter after center Robert Williams III threw down a thunderous dunk and left the rim leaning a bit. About 2 minutes later, NBA officials gathered crew members at the Ball Arena to level out the rim.

What appeared to be an easy fix was not as more personnel showed up to lend helping hands.

“There’s a joke in there. How many guys does it take to fix a rim in an NBA game?” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, adding that the whole situation was a “buzzkill.”

Celtics star Jaylen Brown was unhappy with the situation after the game. Brown is a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association. He said there was “no communication” over what was happening on the court as the rim was being worked on.

A worker uses a level to check the rim after it was bent during a dunk by Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Denver.


“That’s how injuries and stuff happen,” Brown said. “That whole process was handled poorly, in my opinion, and that had an effect as well. But luckily nobody got hurt.”

Brown led the Celtics with 30 points and eight rebounds, but Boston would come up short.

Workers struggle to replace the rim during a Celtics-Nuggets game in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023.

Denver won the game 123-111. Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in the win.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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