Look, the announcement of sporting events is a tricky affair. You work on a wireless network, monitored by a hungry nation, with social networks, ready to launch all your bad words. Even then, you still need to raise awareness.
At the Monday night game, the Los Angeles Clippers released a chart highlighting the 1998 negotiations. Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity of the Milwaukee Bucks at the Mavericks were traded to Michigan's former Robert "Tractor" Traylor. It's one of the worst trades in NBA history, but Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith, the Clippers' team, went on to say that Traylor was now playing for the "Detroit YMCA with over 40 leagues" .
Well no. Traylor died in 2011 at the age of 34 from a heart attack.
Both advertisers apologized later in the game. It's an unfortunate joke they would not have done if they had known the tragic story of Traylor.
Traylor never produced the expected level when he was a lottery pick. A Michigan star in the post-Fab Five era, he averaged only 5.7 points per game when he played for the iterations of the Hornets Bucks, Cavs, and Charlotte and New Orleans.
On the positive side, the Clippers broadcast has presented a beautiful rundown of a much happier moment: pay homage to Nowitzki at the end of the match.