Beating the Heat

Playing basketball – or any sport for that matter – gets much harder when temperatures are above 90.  True.

The heat only affects one team?  False.

As most have heard, the Air Conditioning unit stopped working at the AT&T Center during Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals between the Spurs and Miami Heat, reminiscent to the Summer and AAU games that all of these elite athletes have played in.

Yes I said it – they are all elite athletes.

However, the thought presented by media personnel (I decided not to name names in this post) that it affected one team more than the other is ridiculous.  Both teams were playing in the same arena, obviously.

Professional athletes understand that hydrating and stretching are an important part of the game that have to be done consistently.  Only one player had to leave Game 1 on Thursday due to affects of the heat – Lebron James.

It’s no secret that while I admit King James is the best player in the world, I don’t care for all of his antics.  However, the best athlete in the NBA tonight showed that he had not been properly hydrating over the 5 days of rest between Friday’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and Thursday’s NBA Finals Game 1.

You can say what you want about it, but when only one player is forced to come out of the game because of cramps when the game is played in 90 degree temperatures, the evidence is quite conclusive.

South Texas is currently in a heat wave, during which the high temperature has been 95+ degrees for 1-2 weeks straight with high rates of humidity.  The power had been out across parts of the San Antonio area throughout the day prior to Game 1.

The fact that some people are calling this a conspiracy is asinine.

The Air Conditioning did not affect the outcome of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals.  Bottom line.

Rant, over.

Professional Athletes and Their Affect on Youth Sports

LeBron James reacts to an offensive foul called against him during Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

LeBron James reacts to an offensive foul called against him during Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

While officiating a High School Varsity Basketball Tournament in Agra, Okla. in early December, my partner and I made an observation.  Many players attempted the NBA-popularized “Euro Step,” but unsuccessfully did so and we would in turn, call them for a traveling violation.  My partner referred to it as “the Thunder Effect.”

He continued to talk about how he noticed the style of play in Oklahoma, especially in the boys game, change to more resemble the NBA after the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in time for the 2008-09 season.  The NBA has fallen under scrutiny for several things, including the large amount of travels that go uncalled.  I once watched a playoff game where former Celtics Forward Kevin Garnett took 4 steps and dunked after picking up his dribble.  No whistle.

Now, in High School Basketball, more and more players are even mimicking NBA star egos.  Remember Game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals featuring the Miami Heat at the Indiana Pacers?  LeBron James was called for an offensive foul and rightfully so.  He proceeded to sprint the length of the basketball court in protest, on national television.  I personally wish James would accept the fact that he is currently the best basketball player in the world and cut out the whining and crying. (Click here for a story on Game 6)

Many current high school players are even behaving in similar manners.  In the same game I mentioned earlier, I called an offensive foul.  The player who drew the foul got up and bodied up to the offensive player, leaving me no choice but to issue a technical foul.

There are similar cases in other sports such as football and baseball.  This serves as a sports example of the trickle-down effect.