By Craig Kwasniewski
According to yahoo.com:
The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets will play the first outdoor game in modern NBA history during the 2008-09 preseason.
The exhibition game on Oct. 11 at the 16,000-seat Indian Wells Tennis Garden will be televised by TNT.
The game follows the NHL's successful outdoor game on New Year's Day in Buffalo, N.Y.
"What will happen here will be historic," Rick Welts, the Suns' president and chief operating officer, said Tuesday. "More importantly, I think this will be a lot of fun. Most of us learned how to play basketball outdoors. This had the perfect circumstances to do it in the NBA."
OK... FREEZE IT!!!!
There's so many things wrong here I don't know where to start. First off, I think it's a great idea to take the game outdoors for an exhibition. All of us started playing outdoors on the playgrounds and it's a true retro/turn-back-the-clock element. Nothing wrong with that.
While "most of us learned how to play basketball outdoors" most of us *DID NOT* learn how to play hoops on a tennis court in a retirement community (BTW - Indian Wells is Palm Springs). Way to cater to your fanbase by selling tickets to middle-aged white people in the desert!
This is where the NBA totally dropped the ball on the outdoor concept. Why not have the game at one of the more famous outdoor playgrounds like Rucker Park in NYC? How great of a publicity coup would that be for the NBA by taking the game back to the streets for a charity exhibition game. And if weather is a concern (one of the "excuses" for playing in Indian Wells), then play it at Venice Beach on the courts made famous in White Man Can't Jump.
But instead, this looks like another attention/money-grabbing effort in the preseason. Instead of taking the game back to the people, the NBA is taking the game away and putting it in front of "the Man."
Oh and by the way, I wouldn't necessarily compare myself to the NHL in a press release. Who cares if the outdoor game in Buffalo was a success. How is the rest of the league doing? Here's a good example: I had nine free tickets to last night's LA Kings game and two whole months to give them away. Well after hearing several "I f*cking hate hockey" and "what a waste of time and gas" remarks, a total of four people went to the abortion that was a 0-4 loss to Phoenix. And on a day off there were plenty of seats available.
Do the right thing and take the outdoor game to the playground!