SAN ANTONIO -- As if they didn't have enough to worry about coming off of a 24-point loss to the Spurs in Game 1, the Blazers were confronted with a large snake upon their arrival to the AT&T Center's visitors' locker room before Game 2 on Thursday.
"It's bizarre to have a venomous snake in your locker room," Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters during his pre-game media session. "I don't know if it's happened before. That sounds like an ABA story."
Although he didn't personally see the snake, Stotts said that it was a "rattlesnake" that measured "maybe three or four feet" in length and was "young."
"I'm not an expert," he clarified. "It's a Texas thing."
The San Antonio Express-News later reported that the snake was not a rattlesnake.
Blazers guard Mo Williams posted a photo of the snake to his Instagram account. The black-and-white snake indeed appeared to be significantly larger than what you might find in your garden.
"We get in the locker room [and] it's a damn snake," Williams wrote on Instagram. "[Yeah], a snake in the locker room. Man, we was scared as hell."
Blazers.com reported that the snake was found in the base of Thomas Robinson's locker.
“I just put my shoes down and once I put my shoes down I double looked and I seen a snake sitting there,” Robinson told the team's website. “After that, I got away from it. I just seen something curled up and I looked again and it was a snake. No one believed me until they looked in there. It hissed, I backe
A rattlesnake in the locker room could have posed a serious health problem. According to the Texas State Historical Association, 10 different rattlesnake species and subspecies are indigenous to Texas. Being bitten by a rattlesnake is a potentially fatal situation.
Humans bitten by rattlesnakes and other pit vipers experience immediate severe pain, swelling, sweating and chills, faintness or dizziness, elevation of pulse rate, vomiting, and enlargement of the lymph nodes near the bite. The fang wounds should never be cut open, since the venom proteins so quickly bond to those of their host that extracting them, either in the field or the hospital, is nearly impossible. Instead, the limb should simply be wrapped in a splinted elastic bandage to compress the lymph system that spreads most of the venom.
Because the dispersal of the toxins occurs very gradually, there is ordinarily a period of hours in which to obtain hospital treatment, and only a heavily envenomated small child (whose body-fluid volume could be too low to accommodate the plasma leakage brought about by the venom's perforation of capillaries) would require the temporary application of a tourniquet above the bite. Few people die from rattlesnake poisoning-less than 10 percent of even those heavily envenomated, mostly the very young or people in poor health. Peripheral morbidity, including the loss of digits and even limbs, is high and is often aggravated by ill-advised popular first-aid procedures. Many unfortunate encounters with rattlesnakes occur around rural outbuildings where the snakes seek prey animals; other bites occur when rattlers sheltering beneath piles of unused lumber or, on the coastal islands, driftwood, are accidentally uncovered.
One reporter joked that the snake was a bad omen, but Stotts looked to put a positive spin on the unusual situation, in true coaching fashion.
"Or [maybe it's] a good sign," Stotts said. "We survived."
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