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Raptors back off on ESPN blame, admit shot clock failure was arena issue

So, that anonymous Toronto Raptors official who blamed ESPN for the shot clock failure in Saturday’s NBA playoff game against the Nets? It appears he spoke too soon. According to the Toronto Star, the team is now saying it was an arena issue (which is closer to their original explanation of a signal path error), not the broadcaster’s fault:

On Sunday, the blame shifted to ESPN, the American network that was broadcasting the game, ostensibly because one of their employees shifted one electrical outlet to another in hopes of solving an internal problem that supposedly fried the connection.

That early speculation was based on where ESPN was set up during the game, a Raptors official said. But on review, it wasn’t the network’s fault after all.

On Monday, Raptors officials said a further internal probe into the failure led them to admit the problem was with the arena and its infrastructure rather than ESPN.

“We appreciate the public correction and acknowledgement that we did not cause the problem and remain focused on documenting the daily excitement of the NBA Playoffs,” said Josh Krulewitz, vice-president of communications for ESPN.

The main problem wasn’t the clock failing, but rather that the backup was running on a similar power source, team officials said. That problem has been solved and if there is another power interruption, a backup plan is in place to assure the clocks work.

Well, at least the clocks should work this time, and we won’t have to deal with a human shot clock and an airhorn. Still, this sadly means we can’t call ESPN “The Worldwide Leader in Power Outages.”

Andrew Bucholtz

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing. He also covers the CFL and other sports for Yahoo! Canada.

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