Friday Musings is back! After the Thanksgiving holiday and an incredibly busy week following it, I wanted to bring back the weekly look at what is new on the site as well as a top 5 ranking of something NBA related. Let’s get right into it…
First off, I added four new entries from our greatest moments list and they included, Larry Johnson’s four-point play, Kobe’s heroics against the Suns in ’06, Magic Johnson in the ’92 All-Star Game and LeBron coming up clutch in his first playoff series.
Second, I also added five more profiles on our greatest players list…
#55, Robert Parish
#153, Kawhi Leonard
#219, Steve Francis
#231, Donnie Freeman
#293, Geoff Petrie
Third, I recently finished reading Shea Serrano’s new book, Basketball and Other Things. If you are unaware, we have a page on the site called “Random Product Reviews”, where we do just that, review random products relating to the NBA. You can read my review of BAOT here.
On Saturday I am taking our varsity team to Memphis for a Grizzlies and Thunder game. I’m just as excited as some of the guys, because I still get a thrill from going to pro games, but for many of them this will be their first NBA experience. We also have a very diverse team so I am taking them to the site of the Lorraine Motel, hoping that it starts a few cool conversations.
I was incredibly lucky to grow up in San Antonio during the Spurs true glory days and was able to attend tons of games because my dad’s company had tickets. It created the itch in me to want to see games in other arenas, so I started trying to do that any time I traveled. I have been on a specific NBA road trip that was for the sole purpose of going to games. My goal is to get to all 30 arenas and currently sit at 14, so almost half, of the home courts in the league. This week’s top 5 ranking is of my favorite arenas I have been to.
5) Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I have been to the home of the Thunder for both regular season games and a playoff game. The playoff game was in 2012, the western conference finals between the Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. It was game 4 and Kevin Durant took over in the fourth quarter to tie the series at 2-2. The atmosphere was absolutely electric, making up for the arena’s run of the mill feel.
4) AmericanAirlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The AAC is one of the nicer arena’s I have been to. I’ve attended Stars and Mavericks games there, as well as the 2010 All-Star Saturday Night. The crowd is fine, pretty good when it is a real opponent in town, and the hoops are mic’d up to an almost comically high level.
3) Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
This ranking is strictly due to the arena. I found the building itself really interesting. The concourse is huge and it has a very unique feel to it. There are displays of high school, college and pro history in the state, adding up to a really good experience.
This certainly isn’t one of the nicest arenas in the league but the crowd knows basketball and both games I attended felt big, even if they weren’t. The week I saw them was the week of the Jeff Green-Kendrick Perkins trade, so the crowd was clearly up for it. Boston fans may be annoying, but they do create a vibe.
1) Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
It almost feels cliché to put MSG #1, but I just have to. If Boston fans know basketball, then New York fans know basketball. The rhythm of the game matches the pace of the people on the street, and having your arena double as a train stop is pretty awesome. Even when the team sucks, the arena is loud and desperate for good basketball. I went in 2003 and was in awe as a teenager, then went in 2010 for a USA vs. France tune up game for the World Championships and then again attended a game in the 2015-16 season against Milwaukee. The latest time was after the renovations and they have made the arena feel both classic and modern. It was one of Kristaps Porzingis’ first games and the crowd already loved him.