Donnie Strack Rumors

Fortunately, an OKC official was close enough to Donnie Strack, the Thunder’s Vice President of Human and Player Performance, to get his attention. Get the refs, Strack was told. Tell them to stop the tipoff. As Strack ran onto the court, Rob Hennigan, OKC’s VP of Insight and Foresight, started corralling the Thunder’s players and coaches. He then joined the huddle near midcourt with Strack and the referees – crew chief Pat Fraher, Mark Lindsay and Ben Taylor. The officials soon called over the respective head coaches, Quin Snyder and Billy Donovan. Seconds later, they contacted the NBA, through its Digital Operations Center, where the league monitors every game played. Usually, the biggest issue on a given night at the DOC is to help referees determine whether or not to instant replay. This was different.
Something wasn’t right. Hundreds of basketball games had tipped off without fail at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but this was an outlier. The three officials gathered to start, then there was a fourth, a suit unfamiliar to this portion of the show. It was the equivalent of a 747 tearing down the runway only to get called back to the gate. When games are ready to go, they typically do. But “typical” is not what’s happening to the world right now. The coronavirus is not typical, nor was March 11, when, in front of 18,000 people, Donnie Strack acted atypical to the NBA machine that was in motion around him.
Storyline: Coronavirus
Amid a strange scene that ended with the cancellation of not just a game but the postponement NBA indefinitely, Strack remained himself. For those unfamiliar with the 6-foot-5 native of Indiana, his face may have exhibited urgency as he explained the scenario to the officials and motioned for Thunder assistant general manager Rob Hennigan to join the huddle. But Strack’s face maintained the same controlled concern he has when talking to players in pregame with a hand on their shoulder and an even tone.
Strack — who was not made available by the Thunder to speak for this story — didn’t display panic or lack for answers. He was, despite the unprecedented circumstances of the night, operating as if there was a precedent. While Strack was the messenger, he was more. He had to be composed amid potential chaos. Only the NBA had the authority to call the game, which ultimately happened, but Strack was part of the group which had to quickly mobilize to give the league time to make the final call. By the time the NBA did make that call, the players were already back in their respective locker rooms.
Storyline: Coronavirus