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Are we sure Rasheed Wallace wasn’t just back in town? Smoke machine delays Rockets-Pistons game (video)

Nov 1, 2012, 4:48 PM EDT

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Quick, what’s the most memorable aspect of any NBA experience? The astonishing athleticism of the gazelle-like players as they bound endlessly up and down the court in perpetual fluidity? Scoping out the big wigs and local stars who adorn the arena’s closest rows from your nosebleed seats in Timbuktu? Or perhaps the scantily clad cheerleaders and dance team members, rhythmically shaking their pom-poms in the walkways and tunnels with such vigor and grace that you forget you’re even at a basketball game? Nope.

While those things and more are pretty great, we all know what really brings the fans to the stadium– fog and smoke machines, and elaborate halftime entertainment routines. That’s the good stuff.

Except when those routines unexpectedly commence before the second quarter has even ended, which is exactly what happened in Detroit last night as a rogue smoke machine waiting at courtside kicked into high gear and puffed enough smoke across the baseline to make Tommy Chong blush. Check it out:

Play was stopped for a few minutes while various arena employees scrambled to contain the vapors and get the machine turned off, while the Pistons announcers killed idle time and cracked jokes, like announcers are wont to do.

Eventually the machine was cut off and play resumed, and the only smoke left in the arena was that which emanated from James Harden’s feet, as the newly-acquired Rocket and likely descendant of Zeus torched the hapless hometown Pistons in a historic performance of 37 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals in a come from behind victory to jump-start the 2012 NBA season.

Sources have additionally confirmed to Off the Bench that in the future, the Pistons will be forgoing the use of smoke machines altogether, and are simply planning on trading for Michael Beasley instead.

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Fog Machine Malfunctions During Pistons-Rockets Game (Video) [Huffington Post]