Web Analytics
Officials need 10-plus minutes to sort out confusion over Thunder's similarly named players ‣

Officials need 10-plus minutes to sort out confusion over Thunder's similarly named players

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2022 draft class continues to be a prank upon the entire NBA.

With the 12th pick of the draft, the Thunder selected Jalen Williams, a wing out of Santa Clara. And with the 34th pick, they selected Jaylin Williams, a big man from Arkansas. The almost identically named players remain with the team and, no, it hasn’t gotten any less confusing.

Officials in Wednesday’s game against Atlanta Hawks became particularly flummoxed in the third quarter, when they realized that their scorebook didn’t match up with either team’s numbers, per CBS’s Jared Dubin. In the Hawks and Thunder’s scorebook Jalen had two fouls, while the official NBA scorebook had him with three.

The officials proceeded to take approximately 12 minutes to figure out where they went wrong, an effort that apparently included reviewing tape from the second quarter to see whether Jalen or Jaylin had committed a certain foul.

The Thunder players did their best to pass the time.

Ultimately, Jalen was found to have three fouls, though it’s unclear where the confusion originated, as player fouls are announced by officials with numbers for exactly this reason.

Both Williamses finished with four fouls in a 141-138 Hawks win over the Thunder. The Hawks went wire to wire with the lead, putting OKC in a double-digit hole early in the first quarter and leading by as many as 21 points before nearly coughing up the game.

The loss interrupted what had been a brilliant streak for the 23-10 Thunder, who had won their last five games and eight of their last nine, with big wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 16: Jaylin Williams #6 (L) and Jalen Williams #8 (R) of the Oklahoma City Thunder stands during the singing of the national anthem prior to the start of the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on November 16, 2023 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 16: Jaylin Williams #6 (L) and Jalen Williams #8 (R) of the Oklahoma City Thunder stands during the singing of the national anthem prior to the start of the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on November 16, 2023 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Jaylin Williams (left) and Jalen Williams (right) are on the same team and it’s hilarious. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)