Sweating it Out


The heat won Game One of the NBA Finals. No, not the Heat, but the heat.

What’s wrong, LeBron? Can’t take the heat?

Somewhere in here is a bad Glenn Frey joke.

Anyone else get a bit tired of hearing the ABC announcers go on and on about the lack of air conditioning in AT&T Center during the game? Goodness, you’d think there were dead bodies streamed all along the streets of San Antonio with the way they described the conditions.

Suck it up and play ball.

Yes, it’s hot. We get it. Funny though – I used to play pick-up games for hours in the Texas heat in JULY and never cramped up. What do you think the temperature is like in the outdoor courts of New York City in the summer, where playground legends like Dr. J honed their craft for hours?

Magic Johnson tweeted after the game: “The Heat & Spurs players found out what it was like to play in the Finals at the Boston Garden during the 80’s!”

BpafTzmCQAEvIzcSideline reporter Doris Burke broke the news that the temperature in the arena reached 90 degrees in the fourth quarter. Not good news for Spurs sponsor Champion AC, even though they were in crisis mode via social media during and after the game, explaining that they weren’t the provider of the AC at AT&T Center.

LeBron James left the game because of leg cramps with four minutes left and the Heat were only down 2. That was bad enough for Miami, but it wasn’t the reason they lost this game. The Spurs went out and won it when it counted.

The real reason – San Antonio finished the game with a 31-9 run, shooting 14-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-6 from three-point range. Besides the hot shooting, the key was that the Spurs stopped turning the ball over. San Antonio had 22 turnovers for the game, nine over their season average, but none over the last 10 minutes. They had nine turnovers in the third quarter alone and scored just 20 points, with Miami leading, 74-70, going to the fourth.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili added 16 points and 11 assists.

Back to LeBron, who had 25 points and six assists before departing. He left with leg cramps. Maybe the Miami coaches were taking a page from the Auburn football defensive coaches, looking for stall tactics to slow down the Spurs’ high-tempo offense? No, that can’t be it.

No, LeBron. No, you don’t.

Leg cramps. Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley must have been chuckling to himself somewhere. The man technically DIED on the bench during a game in March and wanted to return to the contest. Michael Jordan (surely enjoying the game in his tag-less Hanes T-shirt) was probably shaking his head, remembering the NBA Finals Game Five in 1997 at Utah in which he scored 38 points in a two-point victory, despite having the flu.

OK, so maybe I’m being a bit hard on LeBron. I’m sure the cramps were real and they smarted a little bit. You have to admit though, PowerADE cannot be happy about what transpired, what with LeBron being one of their spokespeople.

Despite their efforts at PR damage control, maybe Champion AC can make a service call to the AT&T Center in the morning. Rumor has it that the Spurs have assigned an intern to wait at the front door between 8am – Noon, with $29 in hand.

Bet you LeBron fronts him the cash.

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Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, MLB.com, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.


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