Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Experience of an NBA Game

Today, this is going to be a different type of article. Instead of covering something that happened in the NBA or talk about a team or player, I'm going back to the basics; watching an NBA game... live. 

I've been blessed to watch three basketball games live, Boston Celtics @ Golden State Warriors on February 22nd, 2011 and Boston Celtics @ Portland Trailblazers on February 22nd, 2012. Did I mention I am a diehard Boston Celtics fan? The third and most recent game I watched was on December 27th, 2013 and it was a thriller, Miami Heat @ Kings, in which the Kings won 108-103 in OT (I was going for the Kings). For those of you that haven't watched an NBA game live before, this article will bring you an experience of the whole process of the game (going to the arena, when you enter the arena, during the game, leaving the arena) and you will feel like you've gone to not one, not two, not three, not fo-- yeah, I'll just get on with it.

Going to the Arena

The drive to the stadium is one that you never forget; you have butterflies in your stomach, goosebumps all over your body and straight-up, feel giddy. The anticipation for the game is unmatched to anything. All your senses are enhanced by 10x and it's as if you can break a walnut with your kind (just go with it). When you get to the stadium, it's a stress reliever. 

When you enter the Arena...

The instant aroma of peanuts, sweat and things I'll never know is bless full (it smells better than it sounds, trust me). Entering the court area is the best part of being in the stadium. Believe me, I've entered and re-entered many times before just for the kicks. Walking through the tunnel and then seeing this explosion of bright light and... the court; big and sexy.

During the Game...

You'll be sitting in the seats, waiting for tip-off and when it finally happens, you can finally relax and enjoy the show you are about to catch. The atmosphere in the game is everything. I've been lucky to go to two of the NBA's finest fan bases' games, the Warriors and TrailBlazers. The better of the two fans are Portland's; I have nothing against Golden State's but that's the only professional team (other than soccer) that Portland has in it so it's bound to be loved a little bit more. The crowd's "ooh's" and "aah's" and them going ballistic when a player makes a fantastic play is what the atmosphere consists of.

Witnessing a buzzer beater is quite remarkable and I've been lucky enough to catch one. It was in the Celtics @ Warriors game and out of all people, Rajon Rondo hit a pull-up, buzzer-beating three pointer to end the 3rd quarter. I, as well as many others, went wild when drained it. Another thing about NBA games is that you might make a friend or acquaintance. For example, in the Celtics @ TrailBlazers game, I had some random dude who I'd never seen before, go up to me and comment on my jersey, "nice (expletive language) jersey bro!", and ever since that, I feel as if I would recognize him if I ever saw him again. The jersey I was wearing was the Rajon Rondo Majestic Fashion jersey, so I completely agree with the complement. Two if the best days if my life are the two games that I've witnessed. The Heat @ Kings game was the best game I ever witnessed. LeBron James had a few emphatic slams, igniting the crowd. When you're cheering for the underdog and the underdog comes back and wins, there is no one more excited that you are; that's how I felt when the Kings, lead by DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas, forced the game into OT and ran away with it, winning in the process. I didn't know how I didn't go deaf; the sold-out crowd, including me, was screaming at the top of their lungs, not giving one damn. It was by far the loudest I've seen people get.
The people you meet and how much you yell, all affect how much fun you have at the game.

Leaving the Arena...

The way you feel and act largely depends on the fact of whether your team won or not. The record for the Boston Celtics in the two games I've watched live are 1-1 (they manhandled the Warriors but lost to the TrailBlazers late) and for the Kings, 1-0, so I'll talk about both my experiences and how I felt and acted like. The worst thing about an NBA game is leaving; while leaving, you'll be clinging onto this experience. You feel as if you and your one true love are being separated and you can't do anything about it. 

If your team Won…

I was ecstatic after I witnessed my favorite team dominate the other team. The thing that made it even better was that I had made a bet with my uncle and aunt, who went to the game with my Dad and I, and the bet was that if the Celtics won, they'd get me a Monta Ellis jersey (the Mississippi Missile was still with the Warriors back then). I'd rather not mention the other end of the bet. Days after the game had ended, I still felt that same excitement that I felt when the buzzer sounded and Boston had won. The game against the Miami Heat was the best game I have ever seen in my life. It was a tight knit game in the 3rd and 4th quarters and the Kings finally pulled away in OT. The thing that I realized after the game is that every game I go to next, I'm going to compare it to this one and not many NBA games are going to be like it. 

If your team Lost...

Losing is a whole other story; you still feel thankful but you'll have the feeling of wanting more and then you question life and wonder "why me?!". Just like how it feels to lose in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, the feeling is horrible. The one game you go to is your Game 7 because not everyone can attend so many games and the game(s) you do attend, you feel the need for your team to win. That's how I felt when Wesley Mathews crushed my hopes with a couple three pointers to secure the win for the Portland TrailBlazers. 

Going to an NBA game is probably the best type of sports event to witness because of the constant action and how easy it is to watch and understand the game and I suggest you go to a game soon. I mean it; go on Ticketmaster and purchase tickets of your favorite NBA team now. I said NOW!

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