SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz players have heard ghost stories about the regal but kinda creepy Skirvin Hotel, where the team stays when visiting Oklahoma City.
In fact, one Jazz staff member claims to have had a personal supernatural encounter in his room.
Details of this Jazzman’s scary story (name being withheld to hopefully prevent future hauntings) might be too frightening to be repeated in a family newspaper.
Or, and this might be more likely, the tale simply could be too spooky to be true.
“I think,” Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said, “(Jazzman) just is letting his mind hear things and turning it into a ghost because he was told the hotel was haunted.”
This topic came up Sunday while players were being asked if they felt the 3.5 magnitude earthquake that lightly rattled Oklahoma City at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
“No. I was asleep,” Jazz center Derrick Favors said. “There was an earthquake?”
“I didn’t feel a thing,” Hayward added. “Like Fav, I was out.”
Jazz PR senior manager Derek Garduno jokingly chimed into the conversation. “It was probably (Jazzman’s) ghost.”
In the Jazzman’s defense, he’s certainly not the only one who has spine-tingling stories about the allegedly haunted Skirvin Hotel. It’s not uncommon for players around the NBA to recount ghost stories from their stays, which they've all fortunately survived to tell.
Jazz guard Diante Garrett had his eyes opened last season as a rookie when hearing some strange experiences from some Phoenix Suns players.
Wesley Johnson, now with the Lakers, got goosebumps during one visit. After showering and leaving the bathroom, he returned only to find the bathtub and the sink full of water.
“He said he did not do that,” Garrett recalled. “He knows he turned the shower off and everything.”
According to Suns forward P.J. Tucker, somebody pounded on his hotel room door at 4 a.m. But, Garrett said, “When he went out, there wasn’t nobody out there.”
A while later, the unnerving taps on Tucker’s door happened again.
Tap tap tap nobody there.
“He said he was up all night because of that,” Garrett said.
Anyone, besides Garrett, have chills yet?
“I was scared as hell when they told me that,” the 25-year-old said, convincingly. “I’m glad I didn’t experience none of that stuff.”
Garrett laughed when it was suggested that the alleged scary acts might be committed by the Thunder staff in hopes of keeping opponents up all night. He’s yet to suggest to Jazz management that the team stay in another hotel, as some NBA teams have done to avoid the scares and/or stories.
“I never said anything,” he said. “I just prayed that nothing happened to me.”
Marvin Williams didn’t feel Sunday’s earthquake, nor has he witnessed anything out of the ordinary at the Skirvin.
“I had heard it was haunted, I guess, when I was in Atlanta,” he said. “I don’t really believe in stuff like that.”
And Jazz rookie Rudy Gobert? Does the French player believe ghost stories from the apparently haunted heartland of America?
“I heard," Gobert said, "there’s a floor at the hotel where something happened (and) they don’t give the rooms to nobody. I think it’s the 10th floor."
Something a bit out of the ordinary did happen to Gobert during the night on this visit, which concluded with a scary showing in a 116-96 loss to the Thunder.
While the 21-year-old Gobert was asleep, his iPad fell off of the side of his bed.
It could have been the earthquake.
It could have been the unnamed Jazzman’s ghost.
As scary as it sounds, human beings may never know the truth behind this mystery — or the others — at the Skirvin Hotel.
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