Several times during the first half of North Carolina’s 102-78 victory against Portland on Thursday in the PK80, players from both teams slipped on wet spots on the court at the Moda Center.
And, several times, young children, serving as ball boys, attempted to wipe up the sweat with towels. Sometimes they succeeded, other times they did not. And when they didn’t, those slick spots remained, which caused some slips and some falls.
At one point during the first half, during a break to wipe down the court, Theo Pinson, the Tar Heels’ senior forward, rose from the UNC bench and joined the ball boys in wiping down the court. Pinson grabbed a towel, crouched down, and put in some work in attempt to eliminate a wet spot.
Afterward Pinson said “it was really slick out there.”
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And he knew exactly why, too.
“I mean, new floor,” Pinson said. “Guys going hard, and everybody was sweating.”
Up until then, the explanation seemed reasonable enough: a new court, players sweating. Slick spots can happen that way. Then, though, Pinson’s answer veered into the sort of territory that often makes coach Roy Williams chuckle.
“I think mostly it was the new towels,” Pinson said. “We had new towels. So it wasn’t really absorbing the sweat. It was just spreading it all over the place, so it was just like not accomplishing anything.”
Sure enough, as he said it, Williams, sitting to Pinson’s right, began to laugh. Williams shook his head and chuckled for a few moments at an answer that was, well, very Pinson-like. Meanwhile, the problems with the court improved during the second half, when it was “way better,” Pinson said.
“But the first half was terrible,” he said.
Perhaps the towels just needed a half to get warmed up.