Monday, October 8, 2012

Here Comes the NBA Season

For once, we were glad that both the local NBA team (the Charlotte Bobcats) and our preferred squad (the Washington Wizards) are, how can I put this diplomatically, not good. This fact, plus the axioms that Autumn Sundays in the US mean NFL football and that no-one pays any attention to pro basketball until Christmas, meant that we were able to score fabulous seats for the Wizards/Bobcats preseason game yesterday for what it usually costs to sit in the upper deck.

After dropping off the BG (who had lego league later in the day) with friend and neighbour Sarah, the OG and I made the two hour drive to the Queen City, arriving at the downtown arena just as they were opening the doors, about an hour before tipoff.

In preparation for the game, the OG had made half a dozen signs, which the Security Guard jokingly considered confiscating. My favourite was nous vous aimons, Kevin (We love you) for Kevin Seraphim, the promising frontcourt player from French Guiana.

As we entered the arena, the Lady Cats (I thought they should have been called the Catwomen) along with the mascot, Rufus (Why would you not call the Bobcats mascot, Bob?) were there to greet us. One of them happily posed for a picture with the OG:

We then headed for our seats, and though I knew they were in Row A, I am also familiar with how teams sometimes use the power of suggestion to convince you that your seats are better than they actually are (I have seen Row A start after Row 99--or something like this, on a few occasions), and sure enough, Row A came after A1, A2, A3 and A4. Still these seats were far better than any I've occupied at a previous NBA game (like the top row of the Silverdome behind the basket for the 1979 All Star game, for example), and we were delighted. We arrived just as a few of the Wizards were finishing the shootaround.

 As the sparse crowd filed in (6,000 according to ESPN, although Security carefully checked our tickets and didn't let anybody move down) the players appeared for warmups, and the game began. Our proximity to the action provided a couple of insights: the game is a lot more physical than it looks; and there is a lot of acting to try and draw fouls. We were particularly amused by Wizards chucker Jordan Crawford, who screamed bloody murder every time he ventured into the paint.

Although no-one acknowledged her signs, a cameraman in a shirt that had "DC" on it, did come over and ask if the OG would hold up her sign welcoming Wizards rookie Bradley Beal for him, so we are harboring hope of some notoriety:

The game itself was a bit of a letdown. OG was disappointed that the Wizards never got close and ended up losing to the NBA's worst team, and I am resigned to another year of mediocrity. The Wizards two best players (John Wall and Nene) did not dress, so there is no doubt that the team will be better when (or if) they're healthy. Plus the rookie looks like he can play in the NBA, and Kevin did show a couple of nifty low post moves. Still, this group doesn't have the look of a playoff team, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to be in the lottery again next year. But you never know. That's the great thing about sports.


  1. I was going to invite y'all up to see the Bullets play the Nets, but, alas, they only play up here on a Friday night in March, so it would involve blowing off school.

  2. We'll think about it. I'm sure Jay-Z has that one on his calendar as well.