Not only did the Disney-owned global television network fail miserably in their quest, the seconds they deprived their viewers of were, to that point, the most crucial ticks in the contest.
With the game tied at 108, Lakers rookie Josh Hart drove to the rack and lofted a potential game-winning layup with under a second remaining in regulation.
But as the rock floated in midair, the broadcast cut briefly to commercial.
OH COME ON pic.twitter.com/2AkQ9Nw7dU
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 5, 2018
Much like the finale of “The Sopranos,” it had viewers pawing at the remote and wondering if something was wrong with their television.
Never seen that. Josh Hart drives the lane with less than :03 left in a tie game, I’m hoping for a game-winner … and for some reason, ESPN GOES TO COMMERCIAL??
That happen to anyone else?
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) April 5, 2018
Wait. ESPN ran a commercial over a block with like 0.1 seconds left in regulation of a tie game?
— Nitz (@nitzbluv) April 5, 2018
Who else tv went straight to commercial during the shot? I’m bout to throw hands @espn
— lakeshowtalk (@Lakeshowtalk) April 5, 2018
Anybody else’s ESPN feed of the Laker game cut away to a commercial as the last sec shot went up!!!!!!!!??????
— John Lukrofka (@bigjohnNEP) April 5, 2018
Here’s the actual play, courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
If you were watching the final 4 seconds of the Spurs-Lakers tied game on ESPN, you missed the final play due to a commercial cutting in
Here’s the final play of regulation 👇pic.twitter.com/fb7UU8TPh8
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 5, 2018
The network managed not to wet themselves for five minutes of overtime, when the Lakers claimed a 122-112 victory.
ESPN’s epic screwup was immortalized by Reddit user kaushalt18, who added the brief section of commercial to classic NBA moments.
Pack your things, guy whose job it is to push a button while teams aren’t playing basketball, you’ll never see the inside of a control room again.