The 19-minute delay was caused by protestors who locked arms and surrounded entrances to the Golden1 Center in Sacramento. A bigger crowd shut down nearby freeways and massed in the surrounding streets.
The protest was regarding the police shooting of Stephon Clark, who was unarmed and in the backyard of his grandparents’ house Sunday night. He was being chased by police for attempting to break into some cars and alleged vandalism before stopping in the yard.
Police claimed they thought he had a gun. According to reports, Clark was shot 20 times.
Fans who did not arrive early were turned away and asked to leave the arena grounds. There were only a few hundred fans inside when the game began, and they moved into the lower bowl of the arena, leaving the upper deck empty. The Kings provided attendees a free non-alcoholic soft drink as a make-good, and said they would have information soon on refunds for those who could not get in to the game.
The game was broadcast by NBA TV, the cable and satellite channel operated by the league.
Tonight’s game may be in the running for lowest attendance ever for an NBA game. The previous record is the 741 fans who attended the San Francisco Warriors vs. Detroit Pistons game on March 4, 1965. The Warriors later changed their name to Golden State.