Otto Porter jr. wasn’t on the floor for the .5 second redo because he was already taking a league-mandated drug test. “I was in mid-stride. I couldn’t stop.” pic.twitter.com/HcFEjazY8X
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) March 7, 2019
Both teams thought that the game was over and had retired to the locker room when someone in the officiating crew noticed a timekeeping error that kept the game alive. The referees assessed an extra 0.5 seconds to be added to the clock giving the 76ers one lasts hot at redemption from a loss to the low-tier Chicago Bulls. The players filed out of the locker rooms and back onto the court for the final possession, but Otto Porter had already been whisked away.
Luckily for Porter and Chicago, no shot was even taken on that last possession and the Bulls escaped with their win intact. Porter was informed about the game’s final possession but had already started the process of drug-testing and wasn’t able to stop mid-test to finish out the game.
Drug tests are certainly an important part of the league functioning as it should. Keeping players honest with one another and making sure none are getting a competitive edge that’s not available to the rest of the league is integral to maintaining the integrity and popularity of the sport. However after an incident like this, maybe the NBA will consider giving the players just an extra couple minutes in the locker room before whisking them away for the mandatory tests. It was an unlikely confluence of events that held Otto Porter out from the final possession of play, but certainly one the NBA would like to avoid at all costs in the future.