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O.J. Simpson chase chased NBA Finals off NBC in some markets

The O.J. Simpson car chase happened 19 years

The O.J. Simpson car chase happened 19 years ago. (Credit: AP, 1995)

O.J. Simpson's slow-motion white Bronco chase remains a where-were-you-then moment for most Americans over age 30 or so - 19 years to the day later.

Mine? I was at Madison Square Garden covering Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which presented some unusual challenges.

Some of my fellow journalists were in the media work room, watching the game on TV for logistical purposes, then found themselves having to return to the arena because NBC for a time ditched the game in favor of O.J.,  long-time NBC football analyst and reporter.

Others left the arena for the press room, having decided that the chase was more interesting and important than the game.

Most NBC affiliates eventually opted for a split screen, with the game taking up the smaller portion, but others, including in L.A., broke away from the game entirely.

One thing I clearly remember is Bob Costas and other members of NBC's studio crew turning their backs on the Rockets-Knicks game from their perch in the Garden's seating area to watch O.J. on their monitors.

The Knicks ended up winning, 91-84, to take a 3-2 series lead, even though most of America didn't care in the least.

That put them in the same position the Spurs are in right now - needing to win one of two on the road to secure a championship.

It didn't work out.

Tags: NBC , O.J. Simpson

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