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Snake rattles Blazers in AT&T Center locker room


SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The Portland Trail Blazers were clearly rattled by the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals, and they were almost snake bit before Game 2.

A baby rattlesnake, estimated at about 3 to 4 feet, was discovered in the team's locker room at the AT&T Center about two hours before the game Thursday.

It was found by reserve forward Thomas Robinson, who recoiled a few feet after seeing the snake when he moved a bag from his locker.

"I didn't (see it)," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "They said it was a young one."

Young or not, guard Mo Williams tweeted that it was a scary experience.

Rattlesnakes are a venomous species that can grow up to 8 feet and weigh more than 10 pounds. It takes its name from a "rattle" at the end of its tail that produces a rattling sound when shaken to warn predators of its presence.

It is unknown if the rattlesnake found in the locker room made any noise, but Robinson's cries were enough to alert his teammates of its presence.

"Well, it's bizarre to have a venomous snake in your locker room," Stotts said. "I don't know if it's ever happened before. That sounds like an ABA story."

The Spurs have a history in the ABA and also with critters in the AT&T Center.

The stadium hosts the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo each February and its grounds are used for livestock shows during the three-week event.

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili also swatted down a bat that was flying above the court at the AT&T Center on Nov. 1, 2009. Ginobili had to have rabies shots after striking the bat with his bare hands.

Fortunately for the Spurs, Ginobili wasn't needed to corral the snake.

"I think some people here (captured it)," Stotts said, smiling. "They have them on hand at the AT&T Center. They have a specialist."

It probably wasn't a good omen for Portland, which is seeking to even its series with San Antonio.

"Or a good sign," Stotts said. "We survived."

The Trail Blazers will gladly accept any good fortune after being walloped in their first second-round appearance in 14 years.

San Antonio led by as many as 31 points and never trailed in rolling to a 116-92 victory on Tuesday. Tony Parker had 32 points and nine assists, as many as Portland had as a team, as the Trail Blazers never threatened the defending Western Conference champions.

Stotts was asked if he thought someone from the Spurs had planted the snake to rattle his young charges.

"You're the investigative reporter, you figure it out," Stotts said, tongue in cheek.

Stotts was then asked if he considered returning the favor and planting the snake in San Antonio's locker room.

"That thing, it's like Fort Knox over there. You can't get in," he said.

Well, the room with officials Joe Crawford, Bill Spooner, Derrick Stafford and Sean Wright is only about 50 feet away from the Blazers' locker room.

"And I can't comment on the officials," Stotts said, laughing.

Join the discussion

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ColoMtnLvr May 08 2014 at 10:38 PM

Defintely planted ...

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2 replies
geemcna ColoMtnLvr May 09 2014 at 12:47 AM

A "3 or 4 foot " snake is not a baby snake!

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accordmee ColoMtnLvr May 09 2014 at 6:51 AM

You have never to Texas have you?

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1 reply
accordmee accordmee May 09 2014 at 6:52 AM


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Tom and Peggy May 09 2014 at 2:40 AM

doesn't really matter whether it was a baby or not.....it has venom...this was not a prank, it was very dangerous and whoever did it should be prosecuted for endagerment. He wanted that player to be disabled...How funny is that? whoever did this has the brains of a turnip if he actually thought this was funny.

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1 reply
sneakyp957 Tom and Peggy May 09 2014 at 8:08 AM

Why do you think somebody put the snake there? Snakes go into places to look for mice and other food. It is their nature. A part of how they "earn their living".

I have had snakes in both my workshop and my house in the past. A harmless blacksnake,a poisonous copperhead,and 3 cottonmouth water moccasins. My cats killed and ate them all except for the black snake. I wouldn't let them get to that one and he quickly found his way back outside.

If you have a hole in your house big enough for a mouse to get through,and you do,you also have a hole big enough for a snake to get through to look for the mice.

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gnobie01 May 09 2014 at 9:23 AM


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Richard May 09 2014 at 11:49 AM

Young snakes poison is more potent because it has not been diluted over time and age.

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Lamar May 09 2014 at 12:22 PM

Dirty trick Spurs!

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jakkelley47 May 09 2014 at 11:52 AM

dey sho be lucky

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fred mosrie May 09 2014 at 9:54 AM


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sneakyp957 May 09 2014 at 8:04 AM

It's not a rattlesnake or any other form of poisonous snake,and it was less than 2 feet long. I saw film of it and a report on the morning news earlier this morning.

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mcretire6513 May 08 2014 at 11:13 PM

When they come to Portland put a lion in their locker room.

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no1ryb May 09 2014 at 1:07 PM

A lot of bull, it was a bullsnake, all poisoness snakes have a triangular shaped head, there are exceptions, but only the coral snake in the southwest. Bullsnakes make their living, on their likeness to a rattler but are a lot more agressive. Question..If everyone in the locker room ran to get out.......would that make them all " Racists ???" Just sayin .....

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1 reply
dan no1ryb May 09 2014 at 3:25 PM

You just said all, and then contradicted yourself.

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