Down two games to none against the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers couldn’t much afford to lose on Saturday. No team in NBA history has ever dug itself out of an 0-3 hole, and each possession would be crucial for the Sixers in Game 3—none more so than when they had the ball at the end of regulation. With the game tied, Philadelphia desperately needed an open look, and they ran what appeared to be the Dick Van Dyke play, with point guard Ben Simmons in the role of ottoman.
That astonishing and humiliating mistake should have been it for the Sixers, but Marco Belinelli had other plans, and he sunk a jumper from the corner with 1.7 seconds remaining.
The buzzer-beater sparked pandemonium within the Wells Fargo Center, and confetti rained from the rafters onto celebrating fans and players. It was an incredible moment, mostly because Belinelli’s shot had merely tied the game. His foot was clearly on the line, but the person responsible for triggering the celebratory confetti-drop apparently missed that detail.
You can’t rewind confetti. It is not a VHS tape. The teams had to wait for the tie-game celebration and its ensuing cleanup to end before they could proceed with overtime.
The unfortunate game ops snafu resulted in a seven-minute delay. During that period, Philadelphia beat writers identified the man with the itchy confetti trigger finger.
Despite the slogan on his graphic tee, confetti guy did, in fact, seem to care.
In a heartwarming display of empathy, the Philadelphia players stumbled through an error-filled overtime period to remind confetti guy that everyone makes mistakes. A series of clutch Al Horford plays sealed a 101-98 Boston win, leaving Philadelphia’s season in the balance.
Monday’s Game 4 is in Philadelphia. The Sixers will have to play a lot better if they want to avoid the “we got swept” confetti.