You know we’re nearing the peak of NBA midseason teams when teams resort to parlor tricks to attract fans and viewers. Case and Point: The San Antonio Spurs hosted a game at the Alamodome Friday that broke the NBA record for attendance.
A total of 68,323 fans showed up to watch the home team get blown out, 144-113, by the Golden State Warriors. There is no doubt in my mind that someone in the league office sent a memo to Steve Kerr about cargo handling with the showcase on national television.
Those present at least got to see Splash Bros. in action. Yes, they only played 23 minutes a piece and neither scored more than 16 points, but it’s better than nothing.
Between the colors of the pitch and the stadium gimmick, the trick gave out strong Jackie Moon/Semi professional vibes. The only thing missing was Gregg Popovich wrestling a bear at halftime.
That said, maybe they’re on to something. Not only did the stars and fans come out, but the TV partner got a little nugget for SportsCenter after the buzzer. Shit, should the NBA play every primetime game in a football stadium? Can the NBA play every primetime game in a football stadium?
If you want it, dude, it’s not a dream
Let’s get a Portland Trail Blazers-Los Angeles Lakers game at Autzen Stadium. I’m serious. Whatever works so that League Pass subscription I pay for is actually useful. It’s depressing to turn on what would have been a great matchup only to see the reasons you watch the game also watch the game – only with better seats.
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It was a fascinating log Yahoo’s Ben Rohrbach on Friday about ticket costs and cargo handling with some great numbers about stars missing nationally televised games that would be boring to track down, because you definitely won’t find them on Second Spectrum.
“By my count, of the 70 games broadcast on ABC, ESPN, or TNT this season, at least one first-line player did not play in 58 of them.”
From a sports blogger I-watch-so-much-sports-I-don’t-really-consume-any standpoint, I’d say that’s true. It’s an obvious weakness in a league full of recognizable stars.
He went on about the planning when teams go to a city and play the team twice in a row. (Despite Los Angeles and New York.)
“Of the 28 instances where a road team has played two straight games in the same city, one or more star-level players missed a game on 21 occasions.”
So, basically, if I don’t make it to the Friday screening, don’t bother going to the weekend matinee because they brought in the B-team from off-Broadway? Damn cute.
Rohrback eventually came to the conclusion that the season should be shortened to help keep the players healthy, and the fans, who paid half a month’s rent to see the stars in person. Of course he admitted that it will never happen because of the money and you have to at least acknowledge the truth.
We are going to shout about this to the ends of the earth
When I lived in Miami for an eight-month period during the Heatles run, I went to three games at the recently renamed The Arena, and Dwyane Wade was no match for any of them. That was almost a decade ago, and it’s probably getting worse only because that’s what NBA writers are complaining about in mid-January after seeing Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram in street clothes for the umpteenth time.
The San Antonio charade was not the best look for the association. (It was great for that fanbase.)
“Hey, Adam Silver, what’s on the Friday document?”
“We have a 31-point blowout at the Alamodomefollowed by Nuggets-Clippers sans Nikola Jokic and Paul George.”
That’s actually what happened in the second game of ESPN’s doubleheader. What, Steve Balmer couldn’t book Sofi?