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.