It might have been back-ups and scrubs from two non-contenders, but basketball arrived in Allentown last night–and it was a hit.
The stars came out to watch a pre-season game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic last night. While the Sixers won, there was good competition on the court for the 1/3 attendance in the arena.
I didn’t expect to watch the whole game, but we were in our seats the whole time for the non-stop action of a pre-season NBA game. I was really impressed with my first NBA experience. The arena certainly did a nice job providing a professional-quality court and setup for the players and teams. Here are a couple quick observations:
- We sat in row 6, which was the last row of “riser” seats. The seats seemed a bit smaller than my regular seats. Also, the cup holder is on the arm-rest–which is extra-short and fold-able–making it virtually unusable. The seats were behind the hockey benches, which were removed to install two extra rows of folding chairs. For hockey, it would have been the fourth row from the ice and behind the bench.
- Some of the “floor” seats behind the benches and scoring table and whatnot were not so hot: They were locked folding chairs not high enough to see well over the tall folks in front of them.
- We might not have had Jack Nicholson with floor seats at our arena, but we had some stars: The “Easton Assassin” Larry Holmes and “Chocolate Thunder” Darryl Dawkins were conspicuously present with their friends and family, court-side!
- NBA teams have a lot of dudes in suits just hanging around. It could have been some of the injured players–but there were more. A lot of dudes in suits. Just saying.
- After this game, I can say that I’d buy season tickets to D-League Basketball if it came–regardless of team. Just for reference, the 76ers D-League (Developmental League) team is currently the Delaware 87ers who play at the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware. But other NBA teams are nearby: Nets, Wizards and Knicks, for example.
- I got a better cell signal last night. I’m not sure if it was just because I was in a different seat and that there were so few people there–or whether they’ve been working on it. Stay tuned.
- I noticed a few stickers on the bottom of seats–ostensibly names of the Phantoms’ season ticket holders. I didn’t get to check my regular seat, but that’s something to look at next time you’re in the house–if you’re a Phantoms’ STH.
- Meahwhile, in Glens Falls, NY, the Phantoms lost their first game of the season 4-2. The final goal was an empty-netter and the Phantoms lead on shots. Reports are that rookie net-minder and Flyers top goalie prospect Anthony Stolarz played well. Both goals were scored by former first-rounder Scott Laughton–making 4 goals in two games. Already I’m hearing the calls to get him to Philly. However, at this juncture and for both teams, I’d recommend a modicum of stability if possible. I think it will serve both best.
- The game last night in NY was the only trip the former Adirondack team will make back to its previous home. Reports are, the reception was mixed. Some boo’s and some chirping–to go along with some warm applause and appreciation for their former team.
- Up next? Another Friday Night Tilt at the PPL Center: This time versus the rival Hershey Bears. I know meLVin is abstaining from chocolate all week…
- Oooh, one more thing: Wednesday afternoon is a schedule-release party at the Arena, for the SteelHawks. We are planning a NoiseNation contingent. Stay tuned. We’ll see if they make any changes to that schedule.
- Reckless prediction: I predict the Phatoms will have a preliminary promotional schedule out this week. We’ll see. I’m not holding my breath, though.
- Now, for some pictures. Keep in mind I’m no Cheryl:
How ya doin’?