Colleen Grimshaw used front-row tickets she and her husband bought last week to see the Utah Jazz face the Cleveland Cavaliers only because she was told it would help her forget her troubles.
The occasion was their 28th anniversary, but the day took a tragic turn when her daughter's best friend, 17-year-old Michelle Taysom, was killed in an automobile accident.
"It was a really bad day at our house and I didn't even want to go to the game. I told my husband to take our son instead," Grimshaw said. "But everybody insisted I go anyway. They said it would take my mind off my grief.
"Instead, 15 minutes into the game, I started sobbing. And I couldn't stop."
This didn't escape the notice of Utah forward Karl Malone and the other players. Malone sent over an autographed pair of his size 16 sneakers with the message that he hoped they would cheer her up. A little bit later, he personally handed her his wrist bands.
"It was a sweet gesture," Grimshaw said. "And the shoes did cheer me up, and my daughter as well. . . . I keep looking at them and thinking: "Boy, are they big!' "