Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors faced off in a high-profile battle. Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers sparked several comments during the game after lining up and missing a technical foul free throw. He then blamed the miss on an earthquake that didn't actually happen.
The Warriors posted a video of the now-infamous shot on social media, which showed Kuzma alone at the free-throw line. He put the ball into the air, but it fell harmlessly to the court without touching the rim, the backboard, or anything else. Kuzma then blamed an earthquake for the miss and sparked countless comments on social media.
The Warriors' bench after the air ball 💀 💀 💀 pic.twitter.com/lLqUr9NbTg— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 16, 2021
"San Francisco had a 3.5 magnitude earthquake," Kuzma told reporters, per The Athletic's Jovan Buha. "S— started rumbling. I don't know. I got scared, and it went far off to the left." The game took place in San Francisco, so using an earthquake as the reason for the airball is understandable. However, one did not actually occur during the game.
According to a Twitter account called SF QuakeBot, no earthquakes of that magnitude have occurred recently. There were a few earthquakes in the area over the past week, but none went over a magnitude of 1.7. The last earthquake in the Bay Area with a magnitude 2.0 or over took place in Berkeley on March 5.
Excuses aside, the NBA fans had some fun at Kuzma's expense on Monday night. Several said that the free throw was one of the worst in recent history while others said that Kuzma wasn't actually trying to hit the basket. "He mistook the ref for a basket. Damn near closer to hitting him," one Twitter user commented.
The Warriors' bench also enjoyed the moment. Several players ducked and covered their heads after Kuzma's shot. Draymond Green simply stood by and openly laughed about the shot. Though some studio analysts expressed displeasure about the reactions while saying "look at the score."
Despite the wild moment during Monday's game, as well as the oversized reactions from the Warriors' bench, the Lakers easily cruised to victory. The team had a 10-point lead at the time of the missed shot. The Lakers ultimately secured a 128-97 win while Kuzma ended his night with 17 points, four assists, and five rebounds.