Brooklyn Nets. Indiana Pacers. March 31.

The day of firsts continued with my first basketball game.

I have always wanted to go to a basketball game, but never had a chance.

I got a message as I came out of work to see if I fancied going to a game at Barclays Centre, $24 a ticket, go straight from work.

Yes. Why would I say no to this?

Minor public transport headaches

It didn’t get off to the best start.

I met some friends outside the Subway. Went down to see how to get there – all of us not having a chance to look earlier in the day.

After some deliberation, we decided on a train.

Turn around to get on it. The two of them step on. I’m about to. Doors close.

Second time in one day.

Wasn’t having much luck.

So I decided I’d get on the next one and just meet them where we’d half thought was a good idea.

Next stop, there’s an arm reaching into the Subway car to pull me off the train.

Under normal circumstances this would sound concerning. In this case, it was fine.

Especially when my mate is so tall he ends up being my landmark for where everyone is. So I could see who was forcibly removing me from the train.

Barclays Centre

When you get out of the Subway at Barclays Centre, you know you’re there. There is nowhere else you could be.

It’s like walking into a space ship.

This huge towering building all curved and covered in lights.

It’s pretty awesome. Yes I said awesome – although this was one of my favourite words before I tried not to become an American.

When you walk in its just as incredible as outside.

The building opens out to a giant V, where the court is in the centre and the seats rake up to the ceiling. And everything funnels around the outside.

The electric energy was buzzing around. And this was on a fairly quiet night.

And when I say the seats go to the ceiling, I really mean the ceiling. And it’s a tall building!

The hike to the seats made me feel like I had vertigo. But $24 and I could still see perfectly fine. So I won’t get hung up on being dizzy for 10 minutes.

DSC_0044

The game

I don’t really understand basketball any more than the principle of getting the ball from one side of the court to the other and into the hoop.

Surely that’s all there is to it, right? Apparently not.

I was asked at the start of the game if I knew how it worked. Gave this definition.

I got a quick run through of the points system. Before asking a bunch of stupid questions as they came to mind.

The game was an education. Broken up by cheerleaders coming on every five minutes.

The timings for basketball sounded good to me. Four 15 minute quarters.

Sorted. An hour and a half, give or take.

No. Two and a half hours later it was just finishing.

Where in European football they just fall over when they break a nail, in basketball they can’t manage more than three to five minutes without a little rest.

I got a bit tired of this after the first half.

Granted, the cheerleaders and entertainment were probably better than the game itself. But still, I was starving.

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National Anthem

This time I got to see it. Oh my.

They nominated a charity for the game. And one of the girls from the charity was allowed to sing the anthem.

Everyone stood up, hand on heart.

The music started. And out walked this little 13 year old girl.

She absolutely belted the words out. Every hair was standing up and I got a tingle down my spine. I have never heard anything like it.

This girl is going to be big one day.

Cheerleaders

They love an excuse to send out cheerleaders.

Jumping on a trampoline to get the ball in the net while doing a back flip or passing it back through a group of five who would each do a different trick.

Shooting t-shirts through canons – I am still gutted that I never got one!

Generally prancing around in what may as well have been their pants, which seemed to get smaller and more sparkly every time.

All the activity did make the game more entertaining though.

Observations

There are some strange things that happen in basketball that I don’t think I’ve really noticed anywhere else. Other than maybe movies.

Sweat wipers

Can someone please tell me what their job title is? How did they realise that’s what they wanted to do? Did they see Adam Sandler in “The Waterboy” and decide that’s how they were going to become a famous basketball player? Where do they go from here?

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m very sarcastic. How do I get a job doing this, in the changing rooms?

Security

Why do six weird looking guys stand in the middle of the court occasionally? And why are they dressed like they should be selling popcorn in an old school cinema?

Kiss Cam

That turned out to be as weird as I ever thought it would be. It’s just a bit creepy. Get a room.

Dance Cam

Fairly entertaining I have to admit. Until one person takes it too far and gets their fat belly out.

Trampolines

Those guys are talented! I want to be able to bounce on a trampoline, do a flip and then get the ball in the hoop.

I’d just smack my face off something or miss the trampoline.

Or miss the trampoline and smack my face off it.

Chant Member

Really? They just shout deeeee-fence.

Dedicated Game and Nominated Charity

I have a lot of respect for this. It’s pretty cool.

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