Heat at Warriors 12/10/10
Dywane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Co. visit the Warriors
The Big 3 came to Oracle Arena for their first and lone visit this season. In years past this would have been a, “circle the calender date/can’t miss and won’t miss” game, but since I gave up my season tickets I really didn’t have many options this year to go to the game. This ticket was the hottest of the year. Bam! I get a text message on Friday morning asking me if I was interested in going to the game with Mark and his co-worker. Shingo is in the house again; a second home, really.
After a car ride, getting to know Mark’s co-worker and listening in on work related stories, Doug graciously doesn’t accept payment for the ticket, so after our familiar walk up to the entrance into Oracle Arena, I buy the 3 of us “big boy” sized beers. As we’re making our way up the escalator, I reach into my pocket to grab the ticket to show the usher. Where’s the usher? That’s right, why would there be an usher in Club 2o0; no one would try to sneak UP TO Club 200. The buzz in the stands was electric from the sold out arena, and especially from the nosebleeds where we sat. I liked the fans nearby us. There were knowledgable fans I interacted with and shared many, “oohs and aahs,” and not surprisingly the casual fans who probably paid good money to get into the hottest nightclub, “The Oracle.”
The game ended up being a blow out, and no we didn’t win.
Wow! The boo-birds were in game shape for this contest. Every touch LeBron had ignited an impressive display of fan hatred. When asked before the game how I thought LeBron would be received, I felt “The Decision” was in passing, the holidays are nearby, unemployment is at 9.8%, half the fans on this particular night would probably not be hardcore basketball fans, the Giants just won the World Series, and we have way too many sports teams in the Bay Area to actually spend the energy to boo LeBron EVERY SINGLE TIME HE TOUCHED THE BALL. I was mistaken and boy, was it fun. However, when LeBron shot an uncontested airball, the fans only chanted, “air-ball…air-ball…air-ball” 3X. That’s an experienced crowd who doesn’t fall into engaging in lame antics from the stands. Early in the game, LeBron dunked the ball so hard with a 2 handed-Shaq-like-rim rattler, which made the shot clock jiggle for a timed 2 minutes. I’ve never seen that before in my over 200 live basketball games. LeBron is a beast and probably walks around in the most ideal body for an elite athlete. LeBron was even booed after he missed an alley-oop dunk…this crowd is funny! My 2nd favorite moment of the game happened when Reggie Williams dunked it just out of LeBron’s reach, and actually tried to dunk it on LeBron later in the game in which he was fouled. Reggie, when I have the money I am buying your jersey; that’s my dawg! LeBron ended up with 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists in 31 minutes.
Dywane Wade is my favorite current NBA player. Before I became a season ticket holder in 2004, there were few players in the NBA I made a point to see every year. Wade is that type of player who will do something special on almost every play. I admitted to my friends last night that I have a man-crush on D-Wade. Wade controls his tempo so perfectly, and makes explosive moves with his feet only when necessary, to attack his opponents with a variety of weapons in his offensive arsenal. Early in the game at 7:53 in quarter 1, the crowd was dead silent when Wade fell to the floor and didn’t seem to move for 10 seconds. The collective silence in the stands translated to one thing for me on this particular night, “NO! I paid good money to see the Big 3, not the BIG 2.” Just like the old Converse commercial, Wade fell down and Wade eventually got up. The applause from the crowd translated to one thing for me on this particular night, “phew! The Big 3 is back.” Wade went off last night and effortlessly put up: 34 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in 35 minutes. Don’t think I’m going to just jock without a little ribbing, Monta did get up for a nice swat on Wade which the fans appreciated.
Warriors fans are the best in the league hands down. I’ve lived it since I was a kid and I know I’m not the only one. We don’t forget about things and we understand the game. This was apparent when former Warrior-villian, Erick Dampier was announced to make his entrance into the game. Dampier hasn’t played in a Warriors’ uniform since 2003 and was booed loudly last night. The booing wasn’t caused because Dampier is in a different uniform, rather Warriors fans won’t forget that Dampier finally had a productive and healthy season with our team and showed no loyalty in seeking a bigger paycheck in Dallas. A bricked lay up and even a made bucket were cheered on by the fans. Too bad the made bucket was AFTER the shot clock violation. Too funny! I even overheard 2 guys in the bathroom talking about how one of them actually used to like Dampier. Dampier finished with 0 points (0-6), 7 rebounds, and 1 assist in 18 minutes.
How are we down 18? It was probably LeBron’s 3 in a row from behind the arch in 1 minute 16 seconds, but I really have no idea. Seriously, last night was a whole new perspective for me as a Warriors’ fan. I usually take in the game from a strategic viewpoint and from a familiar seat. Sitting in the bird’s-eye-view section, I engaged with new faces, noticed that we have a Canadian flag in the arena, and saw basketball plays from an interesting angle. However, I just didn’t fully pay attention to the game and missed some scoring. I appreciated every moment at last night’s game and seriously had a damn good time. I think we were down 18 and I don’t remember exactly how because my new friend bought me a shot of Patron at halftime and another big-boy sized beer. I was having so much fun that I actually paid attention to the side-show performers. That Chinese lady on the 6 foot unicycle who kicked bowls onto her head without dropping a single one is more athletic than Erick Dampier.
Epke Udoh makes his first career appearance. Good luck to you, young man as the Warriors could clearly use another healthy body. For some reason, last night brought back some great memories for me, but none better than watching Mikael Pietrus step out of bounds with the ball in his hand 1.5 times a game.
Favorite moment of the game: Carlos Arroyo knocks Reggie Williams down and extends his hand to help him up in a show of good sportsmanship, just before he boxes him out to try to go for a rebound. Hillarious!
Thank you, Doug, for the opportunity to be a part of the most exclusive nightclub in town. I really did feel like the luckiest NBA fan last night.