The Oklahoma City Thunder were the only home team to win their playoff opener on the first day of the NBA Playoffs, and while many might attribute that to Kevin Durant’s greatness (he scored 33 points) or Serge Ibaka’s tough D (he had four crucial blocks), a New York Times story over the weekend shed some light on perhaps the real reason for the teams success: a ghost.
In a spooky and amusing piece, The Times reported on the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, the hotel of choice for visiting NBA teams when they play the Thunder, and the various accounts of NBA players running into Effie, a ghost.
Legend has it that Effie was once a housekeeper at the hotel who committed suicide after an affair with the hotel owner. Now ghost stories aren’t exactly uncommon, but the number of NBA players -- some very famous ones -- who claim to have encountered Effie makes it very interesting, especially when they blame their losses on the haunted hotel.
Here are some amusing excerpts from the piece:
Eddy Curry said he slept just two hours one night. He was the only player assigned to the supposedly spooky 10th floor, and he spent most of his time in Nate Robinson’s room, afraid to be alone.
Eddy Curry is 7 feet, 300 pounds, by the way. Former MVP Derrick Rose believes it too...
Weeks later, Chicago’s Taj Gibson said that his bathroom door at the Skirvin had slammed in the middle of the night for no reason. His teammate Derrick Rose was among the Bulls who heard strange bangs and bumps and became a believer.
The Lakers’ Wesley Johnson had the scariest account of all.
In 2013, Wesley Johnson said he awoke to find his bathroom door closed and his tub inexplicably filled with water.
The Thunder’s biggest rivals, the San Antonio Spurs, suffered a spook of their own last March while staying in a supposedly haunted hotel in California.
This might seem like a radical idea, but maybe the people in charge of booking hotels for their teams could request a non-haunted hotel. Just throwing that out there.