Nike apparently had a very good feeling about the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
The sports apparel site posted T-shirts celebrating the team’s NBA championship — about halfway through the fourth quarter of the game. As the Raptors clung to a single-digit lead in the waning moments of the game, the link to the T-shirts went live on Nike’s website.
The Raptors ended up finishing out the job and helped take Nike off the hook, but not before a strange ending where the final second alone took more than 10 minutes of real time and some heart-stopping moments.
Nike hasn’t been alone this week in prematurely declaring a winner of a league title. Earlier in the week, as the St. Louis Blues were on the doorstep of the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch accidentally revealed some ad pages in its subscriber-only online edition. As Sports Illustrated noted, one of those ads was a congratulations to the Blues for winning the Stanley Cup.
The paper ended up getting it right, but not after some nail-biting moments. After the ad was published, the Blues went on to lose Game 6 as the Boston Bruins forced a deciding Game 7. But the Post-Dispatch’s premonition came true, as the Blues ended up winning the franchise’s first-ever title with a 4-1 win in Game 7.
The Raptors championship T-shirts drew quite a bit of interest online, with many people sharing a link to the celebratory shirts in the final minutes of Game 6.
“Spoiler alert!” one person wrote.
The Golden State Warriors gave Nike a hand in helping the company’s premonition came true. With less than a second remaining in the game and the Raptors trailing by one point, forward Draymond Green grabbed a loose ball and called a timeout — one that his team didn’t have. Kawhi Leonard sank the technical free throw for the Raptors, who inbounded the ball with 0.9 seconds remaining to Leonard, who was fouled and made two more free throws. The Raptors won 114-110, sending the entire city of Toronto into a night of celebrations and taking a lot of pressure off whoever is in charge of posting new apparel on the Nike website.
Kawhi Leonard was named NBA Finals MVP, proudly wearing his championship T-shirt.
Raptors fans can now feel free to buy those championship T-shirts, but might need to wait. The $35 T-shirt was listed as “sold out” within minutes of the game ending on Thursday night.