The following piece is a guest post by Lars Bengtsson, a friend from Copenhagen. He was fortunate enough to travel to the United States this December, and he even got to attend the Heat-Cavs game in Miami. As a self-proclaimed “Danish NBA nerd,” he documented his experiences and was gracious enough to share them in this blog entry. In addition to recapping the game, he did a wonderful job of highlighting some cultural differences between his home country of Denmark and the United States. Tak, Lars!
So there I was, outside AmericanAirlines Arena on the 15th of December. The home of the Miami Heat. An American friend local to the city accompanied me and showed me around, in what was at the time, a chilly Miami downtown.
We entered the arena through a frenzy of security and got to our seats with nothing but anticipation for the game. Excitement was in the air. LeBron were going to meet his former team on his current home-turf for the first time. And after getting booed severely by Cavs fans while playing in Cleveland just weeks before, the environment was way more friendly this time around (for obvious reasons).
The game was well-played and competitive, but the player that stood out was not LeBron, Bosh or Wade. No, it was Daniel “Boobie” Gibson. The only thing he did wrong in the game was fouling out towards the end. Boobie finished with 26 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. All of this on a very efficient shooting night. He was the guy keeping the Cavs in the game and making things interesting. The Cavs had something to prove this time and they did. They proved that with a solid center (you can’t be serious if you think Varejao is a starter)* and a pure PG they could make some noise in the NBA. They have pieces for success but they need (hah!) a LeBron-type player. Ed. note: I think Varejao is a good starting center, but that’s just me. 🙂
But an NBA game is more than just basketball–it’s merchandise, noise, more noise and Kiss Cam. These are the ingredients to a fun night out, at least as the Americans think of it. I have nothing against any of the entertainment specifically, it’s just that I think it kind of takes away from the focus from the game. I mean, isn’t it a possibility that you simply talk about the game with whomever you are attending it with, instead of getting loads of superficial kiss cam, dancers, and mascots throwing t-shirts? Maybe it’s just me, but I’m plenty entertained by the game itself.
Now, back to the game itself. LeBron wasn’t a monster, but he still had monstrous plays. In particular, there was one where he muscled into the paint after having been fouled by J.J. Hickson. He promptly used this as a chance to flex his biceps in the usual “I’m still the King” kind of way.
The Heat where pretty much on top all game long but just couldn’t shake the Cavs. They were fighting and hustling, working their butts off. But in the end, shouldn’t talent and defense win games? If that’s what you think, then you got your wish. The Heat came out on top by a score of 101–95.
As a side note, I can inform you that it’s not a clever idea to go to a Heat-Cavs game wearing a Cavs jersey on the Heat’s home-turf. Especially if you are going to heckle the people around you. I think a couple of dudes learned this lesson the hard way. Apparently one of the Cavs fans was pushed and fell; a minor fight broke out and the combatants were thrown out of the arena. But of course you never saw this on TV…you go figure out why.
Anyway, I enjoyed my first NBA game on American soil and I hope to repeat this again before long!
Did you see this game? What are your thoughts on the culture and style of the NBA and the American game? Have any questions about Denmark/basketball for our guest writer? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and to like us on Facebook.