The NBA world was left reeling on Wednesday night when news broke that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, had passed away after an extended battled with an undisclosed illness. Numerous players past and present took to Twitter to offer their condolences and support, but the networks were put in a somewhat awkward position as they were forced to report the news while games between the Cavs and Pacers and the Jazz and Thunder were still in progress.
TNT’s Ernie Johnson used an Inside the NBA segment to read the Spurs’ press release on the matter, which included a statement from general manager R.C. Buford, as did NBA TV in its broadcast of Jazz-Thunder. Reporters in Oakland covering the Warriors’ Wednesday evening practice asked both Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr for comment in real time.
After the final horn of Game 2 of the Cavs-Pacers series, TNT’s Allie LaForce conducted her postgame walkoff with LeBron James and, noting his relationship with Popovich, asked him to comment. Being the consummate professional he is, James obliged, though he was visibly shaken by the news and struggled to get the words out.