Atlanta • Derrick Favors was one of the thousands in the city who spent Sunday night dealing with elation followed too quickly by despair.
Favors, an Atlanta native, had hoped to see the Falcons beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. But after the Falcons had let their 28-3 lead slip away, as Tom Brady led the Patriots to an overtime victory, Favors hopes had been dashed.
And Jazz center Rudy Gobert was quick to pile on, giving Favors the Crying Jordan treatment on Twitter.
"It’s a little rough," Gobert said at shootaround Monday. "But it’s OK. He can handle it."
Then Gobert joked, "I think he turned off his phone yesterday."
Favors watched the game with friends and family. Many of his teammates gathered together to watch at the team’s hotel.
Meanwhile, Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder and a couple of his teammates spent Sunday night in Houston.
"It was a good half," he said Monday morning. "The first half."
Back in Atlanta, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was one of the thousands who watched the Falcons blow their lead in historic fashion.
"Sport is wild," he said.
By Monday morning, Favors’ spirits were on the mend.
"No, it doesn’t sting, not for me," he said. "I was young when the Falcons first made it to the Super Bowl. I was 7 or 8 years old, so I couldn’t really remember. It was exciting for me to finally see them making it to a Super Bowl where I could remember. Win or lose, I was just excited that they made it and happy for them."
Favors predicted Matt Ryan and the Falcons would be back next season.
And as for Gobert’s internet jab?
"He doesn’t know anything about football," Favors said downplaying the burn. "American football."
— Aaron Falk