On the basketball court, its the opponents of Utah Jazz that panic on locking horns against the Western Conference leaders, who are on a staggering 36-11 run this NBA season.
The performance of Quin Snyder and his boys could be described by one word- “soaring” above the rest. And yet, it was a literal soar that turned very, very sour for the squad.
Panic on-board: Jazz players started texting their families
As they boarded the flight to Memphis to hunt the Grizzlies on Tuesday, the charter plane for the Jazz gave the players an unnerving and scary experience, after the aircraft was hit by a flock of birds.
The flight had to turn its nose back to the Salt Lake City Airport to make an emergency landing after the mid-air mishap, but those few minutes were enough to hit the Jazz squad with the epitome of agony- would they make it out alive?
Both Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson, who landed remarkable performances in their 111-107 win over the Grizzlies afterward, put in words exactly what was going through their minds in the aircraft.
“For a good 10 or 15 minutes, I think all of us on that flight were questioning if we were going to be here today,” said Conley, “that’s how serious it was for us. I can’t speak for everybody, but I know that guys were trying to text family just in case, you know? It was that kind of situation.”
Conley, who went on to top the scoreboard with 26 points against the Grizzlies, also revealed that as soon as the plane was hit by the birds, it started bouncing and rolled towards the left, and eyewitnesses also claimed that they saw flames at the back of the flight.
“It felt like the plane was breaking apart in midair. For five or 10 minutes, it felt like complete helplessness,” Conley went on, “we’re thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but it was scary.”
Clarkson, who posted 24 points and 7 rebounds in the game, also reiterated the texting bit, as the team worried they might not make it out alive from that situation.
“It was one of those flights where you were sending out texts. I know you’ve seen on a movie when a plane is about to crash. It got to that point where we were all on the plane like, ‘This might be really the end.’ I mean, it was a crazy situation,” the 28-year-old guard added. (H/T CNN)
The frightening phase had only lasted for 10 minutes as the pilots managed to take control of the aircraft and return it back to Salt Lake City safely. Nonetheless, coming off of such an experience, it made Jazz’s win at the FedExForum all the more magnificent.