by Jim Eichenhofer

Pelicans employees discuss their roles in hugely-popular lottery-night video sat down with a handful of employees who displayed some of the most boisterous reactions

It was the most popular and widely-viewed NBA video on Twitter from Tuesday, May 14 – no small feat, considering Game 1 of the Western Conference finals took place that night in Oracle Arena. A 24-second clip featuring New Orleans Pelicans employees jubilantly reacting to a draft-lottery win has amassed over four million Twitter views, but that’s only a portion of the people who’ve seen it. Hours later, the video by Ashley Amoss appeared on Scott Van Pelt’s nightly show and was the subject of the ESPN host’s segment called “The Best Thing I Saw Today.” The next morning, it appeared on “Good Morning America,” as well as “The Today Show” and countless other national TV broadcasts.

This week, sat down with a handful of employees who displayed some of the most boisterous reactions, to get their perspective on starring in a video that spread seemingly everywhere in American media.

Trent Giddings, first year with Pelicans

“All of us had to be in the office just in case we won, but we didn’t really prepare ourselves mentally that it was a real possibility to actually get the No. 1 pick. We were just happy to be in the top four picks – that was crazy in itself when that happened. But as it got closer, I said to myself, ‘I’m getting on this table if we win. I’m going to go nuts!’ It was such a surreal moment and refreshing news, especially after we had gone through such a long season. It’s been funny to have people who know I work here, but don’t really follow the Pelicans much, look for me in the video. They were like, ‘Woah, Trent’s in it!’ And a lot of my clients loved it, to see how genuinely pumped I was.”

Lauren Sims, second year with Pelicans

“I couldn’t believe it was real. When I watch the way I reacted, I was just in such disbelief and getting even more hyped up by everyone celebrating around me. This was exactly what we needed as an organization. After the lottery, I started getting texts from my friends saying they had seen me on TV. My mom, she watches Good Morning America religiously, so she thought it was the coolest thing ever that I was on there. My dad said, ‘I never thought I’d have a daughter who would be on ESPN!’ It was super exciting, especially seeing how the city has gotten behind the Pelicans and wants to be here for this new era.”

DeAngelo Norris, third year with Pelicans

“I definitely wasn’t expecting to win. This is truly what I told my co-workers earlier that day: God doesn’t love us that much (to allow New Orleans to win with only 6 percent odds)! But it’s been so much fun since then having family members, friends, people I’ve known my whole life texting me to say, ‘Did I really just see you on SportsCenter, First Take and Undisputed? And why were you standing on the table? I know you had better home training than that!’ When they saw the video on national TV, all of my friends back home were saying, ‘One of us finally made it!’ It’s one of those memories I will enjoy for the rest of my life.”

Eric Pacheco, first year with Pelicans

“I was pumped, as you can see. It was pure energy. Coming off the season we just had, the amount of overall joy we got from this was unbelievable. It was so big to get a piece of news like that. We expected a few calls (from ticket-buyers) after winning the lottery, but nothing of the magnitude of what we ended up getting. While I was on the phone taking calls, I looked up and saw myself on Scott Van Pelt’s show, one of the shows I watched when I was 8 years old and first understood the concept of sports media, so that was surreal. People from my college fraternity (at Stephen F. Austin) who I don’t even know posted the video on social media, calling me the Phi Delta Theta of the Week.”

Chris Guidry, seventh year with Pelicans

“Our instant reaction was just pure emotion, built up from last season, which you had to just grind through. In that one split-second, you saw that emotion come out in the entire room. Going into the lottery, we thought (based on the odds), ‘OK, we’ll probably have the seventh or eighth pick, and that’s OK.’ But the whole direction of the organization changed in that one instant. None of us realized how big the video of the room was going to be – we didn’t even know it had been released yet – until later that night. We looked over at a TV screen and they were playing it on Scott Van Pelt’s show. Everyone in the room saw it and just erupted again.”

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