A hot night players won’t soon forget

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com


VIDEO: Chris Bosh talks about the heated Game 1 in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – There’s been some strange happenings inside the AT&T Center. In 2009, Manu Ginobili swatted a bat out of mid-air during a game, then captured it with his bare hands and carried it off the court. His reward was a battery of rabies shots.

Just last month, the Portland Trail Blazers were startled by a snake slithering around in the visiting locker room.

Go way back to 1994 and the San Antonio Spurs’ opener at their former home, the Alamodome, and the infamous water canon assault. As reported by the San Antonio Express-News: “A water canon, set off by pregame fireworks, spewed thousands of gallons of water, drenched and scattered fans, soaked the court and delayed the start of the game for 50 minutes.”

Still none of those oddities reached the level of mayhem as Thursday’s air-condition-free Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The game was played without AC due to an electrical problem turning the AT&T Center into a stifling sweatbox that players from the Spurs and Heat won’t soon forget.

“It wasn’t so much the heat, it was just exhaustion,” Miami forward Chris Bosh said. “I thought I played like 45 minutes and I played like 33. It was a hell of an experience, man.”

The more than 18,000 fans in attendance were practically in sync fanning themselves with whatever they could find. Heat star LeBron James cramped up so severely with four minutes left in the game that he couldn’t finish the game.

“It was definitely hotter than normal,” Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. “We were all sweating a lot more than normal. We made it through.”

Afterward, the Spurs opened their locker room on a limited basis because the heat was so stifling. General manager R.C. Buford was in the hallway with his blue dress shirt drenched front-to-back in sweat. The room designated for the Spurs players’ wives, children and other family members to retreat during games was filled with small children and babies stripped down to their diapers.

“It’s the NBA Finals, it’s one of the best events in the world and if you would have told me there was no working AC I probably would have thought you were joking,” Bosh said. “But it was a really dangerous situation for the players and the fans as well. Everybody was at risk, it was extremely hot in there. I’m sure the people up in the 300 level were even hotter than we were.”

James said he was still in considerable pain Friday morning as his muscles began to uncoil. Other players expressed a greater sense of fatigue, while others recovered more quickly.

“I was a little tired during the game, a little more than usual, but this morning I kind of feel the same,” Spurs forward Boris Diaw said. “It’s back to normal.”

Diaw said he and the Spurs’ other European players weren’t as affected as much because they’re used to playing in overseas arenas without air conditioning during July and August. Still, Diaw acknowledged that this was the hottest he had experienced any NBA arena.

Bosh said he was little more worse off.

“Today sucks, it was tough sleeping last night, but I’ve been tired like this before,” Bosh said. “It’s just going to take us some time to recoup, and we’ve got two days to do that, so that’s a positive.”

11 Comments

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  2. Billy Bob says:

    Heat players. STOP whining.
    Football players , Soccer Players. Basketball players around the world play without AC.
    Runners run in the Olympics without AC.
    Construction workers build homes in the soaring Heat.
    They all do not whine.
    HEAT “big” 3 are overpaid WHINERS.

  3. Eddie says:

    I’m lost. Was it only extremely hot where Lebron was?

    A “trick” would be something that only affects one team. Plus, has anybody actually been to Miami? With the humidity it’s worse than San Antonio in the summer.

    I believe in NBA conspiracies. There’s nothing here.

  4. D. Wright says:

    We’re talking about Air Conditioning? Air Conditioning, really. smh So, the AC went out! AAAND?? It didn’t only go out on one side of the arena and just follow the spurs around the court. good lord, man. If this was some kind of master plan, then why would they do it in game 1? The spurs know they are a great team just like miami so don’t you think, even if they were evil planning, that they would wait until they needed that extra boost? Dont you think they would at least play game 1 first to see if their plan was indeed necessary and then do it earliest in game 2? And why do it in game 1 and give the best player in the league motivation for the rest of the series? The spurs organization has proven to be a lot of things…stupid is NOT one of them! Some(not all) miami fans are really unbelievable. I’m so happy that the miami heat team has more respect for themselves than their fans. I am happy to see my favorite and my second favorite team go at it again in the nba finals. stop the ridiculousness and let em leave it all on the court!

  5. SPURS HOTNESS says:

    Game 2:

    “Air conditioning is back… but James conditioning still missing!”

  6. Joe says:

    “No Heat, No Problem. Spurs Take Game 2″ That’ll be the headline on Sunday. Get over yourselves.

  7. rt1999 says:

    I just have ONE question. ONE.

    How come Pat Riley wasn’t sweating?

  8. Max says:

    Wow, the more one reads the worse it seems to play in SAT. Bats in the AT&T Center? Long, Long Arms in the Spurs Organization. Conf.playoffs in 2006, Official (now even though this happen and the Official later goes to Prison) helped the Spurs to enjoy that Official’s Hospitality. Did Not stop what that Official did to help the Spurs Advance. Now at that time Diaw, played for the Phx. Suns, who were the teams that suffered from the calls made by that “Shady” Official, even though he was later caught had to go to Prison, well, that was what should have happened, but after the fact did NOT changed the outcome, which is totally wrong. Spurs still got the Bennie’s and that is just Wrong. NBA needs to take away allowing a team to advance, when it was proven the Official took a Bribe to throw the game to the Spurs. That game should have had to be replayed. Makes Fans wonder???is the NBA Fair? Maybe need to ask Diaw, IF the Spurs Organization is really a Honest Organization?

  9. Articus says:

    No doubt that this was a trick to stop Miami. Miami isn’t used to hot temperatures and San Antonio is a hot place. They did this on purpose to steal a win from the Heat, no doubt. Hope the NBA looks into this soon!

    • TPfan says:

      really? how come its only lebron in the team Miami who is affected? while everybody else played with out cramping? Florida is a hot place too as you can hear in the interviews of your coach and other players… so in short move on and stop thin none sense excuses

    • Billy Bob says:

      Articus you are an idiot.
      Spurs played in the same place…..did you notice that?
      these teams played eachother in the SAME PLACE.