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At the end of January, New Orleans and Houston squared off in a game that the Pelicans ultimately won, 115-113. Pelicans fans will certainly remember that that was the day that DeMarcus Cousins went down with a season-ending injury.
But you may recall another scene from that night, when comedian Tony Roberts realized that he was courtside in the exact same warm-up gear as the Pelicans. Here's a two-minute oral history of the viral moment that happened next.
ROBERTS, COMIC/FRIEND OF DeMARCUS COUSINS: Boogie asked me to do a charity event on Jan. 27, and he sent a box of Pelicans apparel. I wore the gear to the Jan. 26 game, and I realized I looked like a player. So I stood up at halftime and was messing around to see how far I could get.
LINA REYES, FAN WHO SHOT THE VIRAL VIDEO: Tony stuck out like a sore thumb -- he's short, and his body is, um, how should I say this? It's not really like a basketball player's body. His stretches speak for themselves.
ROBERTS: I'm stretching, and I walk a little farther out on the court. I do one jumping jack, then a high knee stretch. Finally, I just yell, "Come on, player, give me the ball!"
RAJON RONDO, PELICANS GUARD: Tony's one of my favorite comedians. I saw him get on the court and thought it was hysterical. But then someone passed him the ball.
ROBERTS: That's when my mouth got dry, I couldn't feel my left knee and my hands wouldn't cooperate. I was like a sea lion out there.
ANTHONY DAVIS, OVERLY OPTIMISTIC PELICANS STAR: I thought, "Let him shoot!" But the shot ...
ROBERTS: Stevie Wonder had a better chance of making that shot.
RONDO: It hit the side of the backboard. I'll give him an excuse: Say it was the angle.
REYES: The whole thing was very funny to watch, so I started filming. Then I saw a cop walk toward Tony.
ROBERTS: All of a sudden, someone grabs my arm, and I turn around, and it's a cop who looks like Moses from the Bible. I told him, "Man, I play!" and that only made him madder because he thought I was antagonizing him. He shook his finger at me and said, "If you get up one more time, I gotta kick you out of the arena."
PLEASANT UNNAMED SECURITY GUARD AT RECENT PELICANS GAME: He's not working tonight. But you won't get to talk to him, no, ma'am. We're not allowed to talk to the media.
LESS PLEASANT UNNAMED SECURITY GUARD AT RECENT PELICANS GAME: I'm going to warn him you were here.
ADAM MENDELSON, PELICANS LOCKER ROOM ATTENDANT: The next game, I noticed they had more guards than normal all along the court.
REYES: Within a day, the video had gone viral. It's been shared in the millions. With all the negativity in the world, it's awesome to make people laugh.
ROBERTS: I call myself the 17th man. But I want to tell the world: I have a better shot than that.
He snuck on the court and warmed up with the Pelicans before he was escorted off. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/f9CclSBHcQ— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 29, 2018