OKLAHOMA CITY – Hassan Whiteside thought it was an angry ghost. Udonis Haslem slept through it and wishes he hadn’t.
James Johnson ? Well, he had the most unique story among Heat players about the 5.0 earthquake that hit about 60 miles north of downtown Sunday night. You see, Johnson was sitting. …
I’ll let him tell the story.
“I was on the toilet. … in a haunted hotel and the room just started shaking crazy,” he said. “My door is wobbling back and forth. I’m nervous. I don’t know what’s going on, I can’t get out there fast enough because I still didn’t complete my bathroom break.”
Johnson, like most teammates were even more shaken considering the legend that their hotel, the Skirvin, is haunted. So Johnson heard the commotion, opened his door and saw about six teammates in the hall.
When they said it was an earthquake, Johnson actually was relieved.
“An earthquake really sounds scary but it eased my mind because I’d rather that than the rumors of the hotel,” he said. “I wasn’t sure everybody felt it. Once I got the knock on the door I realized everybody felt it.”
Whiteside, though, expected more.
“I thought it would be like the movies with everything shaking, the whole room shaking, pictures falling off the wall,” he said.
“I actually thought that was a ghost instead of an earthquake, I thought he was a little angry.”
Haslem has never experienced an earthquake and says “technically, I kind of feel like I still haven’t.
“I slept through it. I’m a little disappointed. But not really.”
Goran Dragic, though, has made up for Haslem missing out. This is Dragic’s third earthquake and he ranks it the second strongest behind one in Slovenia when he was about 12 years old.
“I still remember my mom and dad, they were yelling, ‘Go under the table. Go under the table,’’’ Dragic said. “When you’re a kid it’s scary. You don’t know what is going on.”
The other was when he was in Istanbul with the Slovenian National team. Dragic was in the restaurant when the earth rumbled Sunday. He said when the table and lights started shaking he knew immediately.
Coach Erik Spoelstra wasn’t sure at first, thinking it may have a train rumbling by. When he realized the ground does not shake like that from a train, he headed for the lobby and the first person he saw was assistant coach Octavio De La Grana.
“I didn’t know what was going on then I realized it’s not a train going by, which is initially what I thought,” Spoelstra said. “I went to the lobby to see familiar faces. A bunch of staff was down there.”
Between dealing with ghost stories and an earthquake, the Heat will be thrilled to have this trip behind and return to Miami early Tuesday, especially Johnson, who had a pretty crappy Sunday
“Listen, it was just a long day for me, it was a long day for me,” Johnson said. “Things like that you don’t plan for, you don’t know when it’s going to happen. I’m just glad everybody was safe, the hotel was in one piece.”