Utah Jazz players feared the worse, as they all thought they were going to die ahead of their NBA clash against the Memphis Grizzlies after their plane collided with birds in the cloud.
The team’s chartered plane collided with a flock of birds shortly after take-off, and the entire crew – both the players and staff of the franchise – feared for their lives, as the accident caused an engine fire and failure and forcing an emergency landing.
Thankfully, they landed safely, and they won away, defeating Memphis Grizzlies 111-107 with the point guard, Mike Conley hitting 26 points for the Jazz, while Ja Morant posted a game-high of 36 points for the Grizzlies.
After the game, Conley said: “For a good 10 or 15 minutes, I think all of us on that flight were questioning if we were going to be here today. Nobody knows. Everybody’s just quiet. It took the pilots probably five to 10 minutes, probably about 10 minutes, to go through everything, go through their checks and get back to us and let us know what was going on. Because it was obvious that something was really wrong with the plane.”
“It felt like the plane was breaking apart in mid-air. For five or 10 minutes, it felt like complete helplessness. We’re thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but it was scary.” He continued.
Jazz sixth man Jordan Clarkson said: “It got to that point where we were all on the plane like, ‘This might be really the end’. I mean, it was a crazy situation. I understand fully why Don didn’t come.”
Jazz superstar, Donovan Mitchell has fear of flying, and with the incident, he could not play the game for what the team called “personal reasons.” He did not fly with the team to Memphis from Salt Lake, after their emergency landing. He supported his team on social media, as he kept tweeting about his teammates throughout the game.