Well, at least the crowd seemed to like the gag.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics recently played a game in London to increase the league’s presence in across the Atlantic, and in endearing themselves to the crowd, the 76ers laid a wicked prank on one unwitting fan in attendance.
Calling up a random fan to attempt a distant shot for a cash prize is common practice in basketball arenas across the U.S., but the 76ers added a twist to make this instance a lot more memorable for both the volunteer and the fans in attendance.
In front of a sold-out crowd at London’s O2 Arena, the team pulled actor and comedian Jack Whitehall out of the crowd for a chance to sink a 3-pointer … blindfolded.
For reference, the distance from the 3-point line to the hoop is about 23.75 feet. Not exactly a gimme, but certainly makeable, even blindfolded — albeit with luck on one’s side.
76ers just punk’d a London fan harder than ive ever seen in live game entertainment Challenged him to make a 3 bli… https://t.co/H4Ko99y3GT— Rob Perez (@Rob Perez)1515708173.0
Whitehall heaved the ball towards the hoop, and seconds later, the crowd went absolutely wild. When the blindfold came off, a disbelieving and exuberant Whitehall was quickly pointed to the video screen to watch the replay.
Sure enough, his jubilation quickly subsided as he saw his blindfolded self fling the ball well short of the hoop, resulting in an unremarkable airball.
Oh well. Chances are, the league didn’t get a fan in Jack Whitehall that night, but they may have gotten hundreds of others, judging by the laughter of the crowd when the unsuspecting volunteer realized he had been duped on a very, very large stage.