Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
VIDEO: Pluses and minuses of playing an outdoor game
> The Celtics reportedly are interested in playing a regular-season game outdoors at Fenway Park. Is this a good idea, a bad idea, or just a wild idea that will never happen?
David Aldridge, TNT analyst: I love this idea! Why not? Though, as someone who broadcast outdoor preseason games — in California — for TNT, make sure you bring a coat! When the sun went down, geez, it got cold. Maybe on St. Patrick’s Day — it might be more than 12 degrees outside by mid-March. Maybe. (Of course, you’d have to limit beer sales on St. Patty’s, ’cause that could wind up being Disco Demolition Night bad.)
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: My buddies and I played our ugly brand of schoolyard basketball on the outskirts of Chicago well into November and again as early as March. So that potentially works, calendar-wise, in Boston. But we had one huge advantage over any NBA operation in scheduling our playground games — we woke up, saw what the weather was like and only then decided if we were going to hoop. Rainy? Windy? Chilly? Nope, nope, nope. The chilly part would be the easiest for the Celtics to thwart, I presume, with big ol’ sun lamps, space heaters and maybe electric coils positioned under the court. A big canopy for rain? Uh, not so good. Wind screens that somehow wouldn’t block the view? Good luck with that. It’s the unpredictability rather than the severity of the elements that makes this a better idea for Houston than for Boston.
Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: If you’re gonna go gimmick, go big gimmick. So as long as it’s in February, I’m all for it. May the ghost of Red Auerbach blow cigar smoke in their faces.
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: B and C. It’s a bad idea. While the concept worked with exhibition games near Palm Springs in October, the key words to remember are “exhibition games,” “Palm Springs” and “October.” The absolute worst that could have happened would be a preseason contest would have to be called off because of unexpectedly bad weather. The worst thing that did happen was bad wind one year, while the weather other times was good to perfect. But Boston from Halloween to April is obviously far less dependable. Spring can be nice, but does anyone want to risk putting a game on the schedule and then having it snowed out with possible playoff implications on the line? If the Celtics keep the date open at the arena as well for fallback duty, then we may have something. Decide, say, two days before whether Fenway will happen. The idea works under that scenario. But Outdoors Or Bust is a bad idea and a wild idea.
Shaun Powell, NBA.com: Will. Never. Happen. A game outdoors in the snowy north? Not sure who hatched this idea, but basketball is meant to be played in comfort, without worrying about the elements. November through April in Boston is unforgiving. Or am I missing something?
John Schuhmann, NBA.com: It sounds like a possibly OK idea (weather permitting) for a preseason game in early October. It sounds like an awful idea for any other time on the NBA calendar.
Sekou Smith, NBA.com: I think it’s a wild idea that no doubt will happen if it’s already being floated around as a possibility. It would be spectacle for sure, especially if the game could be played before the New England weather goes from that crisp fall air to bone-chilling cold. A season-opener or even a test-run for a preseason game and it might work. But anything after Halloween could come with serious weather-related complications. I love Fenway Park, I don’t need to see basketballs bouncing anywhere near it. TD Garden works just fine!
Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: I hope it’s the windiest day on record. Along the same lines I’d also like to see PGA golfers playing a tournament on a $16 public course. Let the pro golfers stand on our bare-dirt tee boxes and putt our slow bumpy greens. Let the NBA players gauge the wind while shooting free throws. (For DeAndre Jordan, it might actually help.)
Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: In concept, it seems pretty cool. Fenway is more than just a baseball stadium, it’s an historic architectural site, and if the Celtics could figure out some way to guarantee the weather will be conducive to playing basketball, it seems like it would be an awesome spectacle. The weather part might be the toughest hurdle, as it may not be warm enough for an outdoor game until the spring, when the Celtics (and any willing opponents) may be in a playoff chase, which might make them less likely to submit to an outdoor game.