Keldon Johnson was at the Frost Bank Center to play basketball, not to catch a bat
A few years back on Five Thirty Eight, Chris Herring answered an important and puzzling question… why do the San Antonio Spurs have such difficulty keeping bats out of their home arena? This is what Herring found back in 2019.
“The AT&T Center (now the Frost Bank Center) is 25 miles southwest of Bracken Cave, which is home to more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats, making it the largest summer bat colony in the world. The world’s largest urban bat colony, and home to about 1.5 million bats — is only about 75 miles away. What’s more, it’s logical that bats would fly past the arena, particularly during the winter months. The stadium is almost directly in the bats’ migration path from Central America and Mexico back to Bracken Cave, where maternal colonies fly to have and nurse their newborns.”
Okay, so we have that answer. And that explains why on a late-January night in San Antonio, another bat flew into the Frost Bank Center, once again causing a delay in the game, this time a contest between the Spurs and the Timberwolves. Now, this leads me to my next question… who in their right mind wants to be the one responsible for handling the removal of a bat during the game, if and when a circumstance like this comes up? Manu Ginobili is retired, and since it was “Bat-Manu” who famously took care of these issues in the past, that leaves the Spurs mascot, Coyote, to handle the job. Just don’t expect Keldon Johnson to do anything about it.
During his media availability Keldon Johnson shared that he’s “borderline scared of the dark,” and I get it, because I’m full-on afraid of birds and bats (and large moths, and a little bit of butterflies, but I digress), so I would’ve done the same thing had I been in his shoes. Johnson finished the game with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Devin Vassell led the Spurs in scoring with 25 points, and Victor Wembanyama chipped in a 23 point, 10 rebound double-double, the 21st of his rookie season.
But you don’t have to look any further than the Coyote in a Batman suit to find your Spurs player of the game.