Tim Duncan, Jeff Ayres Latest NBA Players to Experience Haunted Hotel

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

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Update, March 29, 6:41 p.m.:

Two days after Tim Duncan and Jeff Ayres admitting shaking in their boots to the sounds of ghostly toddlers in a Berkeley, Calif. hotel, two more Spurs have in on the paranomal activity.

Assistant coach Ime Udoka, who hadn't spoken with Duncan or Ayres about the supposed ghosts, told Dan McCarney of MySanAntonio.com that he had a similar experience.

'I never would have thought anything of it until I read that article,' he said. 'Same thing. Same sounds. Kids in the hallway. ... I remember hearing (voices) and looking out the peep hole and nobody’s out there. So it kind of creeped me out when I thought about it afterwards. ...

'It wasn’t exactly above me, stomping like the typical sound you here with somebody (in the room) above you. It was kind of in the walls. It was weird. Little clicks and sounds all day, the middle of the day. But the baby in the hallway, or a child. That’s what I remember specifically. I’m not superstitious. I haven’t really had any experience like that. For me, to even acknowledge that is (weak).

'I’m not the type of guy to say any BS. But I remember it. It’s creepy now. I don’t want to stay there any more with all these stories.'

Leave it to Gregg Popovich to spoil everyone else's good time. He told McCarney he didn't hear a thing.

“Ghosts are scared of me, like everybody else,” he said. “Luckily, nobody said anything to me until we left. I would have hid under my bed probably.”

Original Text:

Playing in the NBA would be a breeze if it wasn't for the physical demands, emotional drain, hectic schedule and haunted hotels.

Is that fourth obstacle an actual thing?

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Jeff Ayres and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs say yes.

While in California to face the Golden State Warriors, the Spurs stayed at the Claremont Resort, which is allegedly preyed upon by "multiple spirits," according to Spurs Nation's Dan McCarney.

Following his brief stay, Ayres can now confirm the Claremont is indeed policed by supernatural spirits:

You get in at whatever time. I took my room key. I could hear stuff in the hallway, like people in their rooms. So I'm thinking people are watching TV or whatever. So I get to my door, and my key doesn't work, but it sounds like there's somebody in my room. Like I hear a little baby, not crying but making noise. I'm like, "What the heck?" I keep trying my key and it doesn't work. So I go downstairs to get a new key, and I tell them (somebody's in the room).

So they call the room, and nobody answers. They're like, "We can get you a new key and send you up with security and make sure nobody's there, because there shouldn't be anybody in there." Then they're like, "We'll just get you a new room." It was the creepiest thing. I heard a couple of other guys heard babies in the hallway, kids running down the hallway. Creepy. I really heard voices and a baby in the room, and there wasn't anybody in there. It was crazy.

For the skeptics in all of us, Duncan corroborates Ayres' peculiar tale:

I heard a baby in his room. There was somebody or something in his room, yeah. I definitely heard something. It wasn't creepy, because I assumed it was really somebody in the room, and they gave him the wrong room. But when they told me the story the next day about calling up there and no one in the room, it's at that point you get chills. I totally agreed with him. There was a baby there, absolutely.

By Ayres' and Duncan's accounts, these aren't your average, pranksters-sporting-bedsheets ghosts. These are babies and adolescents watching television that may not be suitable for children and wreaking havoc in the hallway.

Did anyone else just get chills?

Yeah, me neither. This must be one of those things—like a story of someone doing push-ups in a Starbucks vestibule—where you had to be there, experiencing the wrath of the unknown, to truly understand.

Whether you're someone who believes in apparitions and banshees really doesn't matter, though. Tales of cursed and haunted hotels are quite common in NBA circles.

In 2010, per the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, then-New York Knicks players Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries claimed the Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City was haunted.

Not even a year later, ESPN's Bill Simmons recounted a similar experience, alleging that he heard crying babies during his time at the Skirvin Hilton.

"Just know that the next time someone tells me a ghost story, I will believe them," Simmons wrote.

Legend has it a woman once jumped out of a 10th-floor window at the Skirvin Hilton, killing both her and her baby. Curry himself was so spooked during his time there that he spent most of his time in then-teammate Nate Robinson's room, because if anyone is equipped to ward off ghosts, vampires, werewolves, crying babies or the characters from Children of the Corn, it's him.

Curry sought the comfort of Robinson's room in 2010.
Curry sought the comfort of Robinson's room in 2010.Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

This is all very difficult to make sense of and understand. Personal beliefs come into play. Some people will buy into these stories, while others will shrug them off, perhaps attributing various experiences to vivid imaginations and/or a lack of sleep.

Whatever side of the fence you land on, just know that some chilling experiences have made believers out of quite a few NBA players, whose teams must now take their encounters into account when creating travel itineraries.

"I heard about the history of the place, and I’d rather not (stay there again)," Duncan said, via McCarney.

Plan your vacation and Tim Duncan-stalking spots accordingly.


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