Just like Christmas NBA London comes round but once a year (around two weeks after to be exact) and what a gift it is to fans who live overseas and can’t come any closer to see an actual, real life NBA contest.
Or is it?
The NBA London is an amazing event in just as amazing a capital city. It began in earnest a decade ago with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen’s big-three Boston Celtics and now 10 years later Kyrie Irving’s new Boston Celtics (minus unfortunatly we’re sure Gorden Hayward) are back to take on the process of Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers. But the process of how you get tickets to this event at Greenwich’s O2 is more of a shambles then the former Milleniuum Dome this arena aspired to be back in 1999.
Now before we get into this column, lets make it clear like on someones Twitter bio that the views expressed here are of the writer alone.
Want a ticket to the only game on the NBA calender outside the United States in the United Kingdom next year? As oppossed to the 82 games over 30 teams in the National Basketball Association overseas? Well then you could always sign up for the online presale two days before the “real” general one. That is if you have a few hours between your working day and the one you took off especially for. But we should warn you when the 02 partners with a company called AXS and not the usual Ticketmaster route the process (without sounding passive aggressive) will be the same whether you’re up with the birds an hour before the online time of sale, or you’re just a few minutes late to the party.
Because here it is fans and folks. A ticket system for NBA London that puts you in a so-called automatic “que” for “fairness” and “security” for willingly over an hour both for the presale you signed up for and the general sale that everyone else did, even when you got there right on time. Only for it to be sold out minutes later whilst they still let you wait all this time and tell you not to refresh or close the page for risk of “losing” the tickets that have already gone without you realising. Only for the tickets they sold out of “fairness” to appear on second seller sites mere minutes later for over three times the price!
Now that my friends like Lavar beating M.J. is an absolute joke!
Being a real fan means nothing to these “official” sites that may as well be the scalpers. This is nothing new as this sort of ticket touting happens for gigs in concert with sporting events in the U.S. and Canada all the time. But when there is only one option for a game for fans every year then the zeroes mount up even more for the hardworking, Dolly Parton 9 to 5 fans bringing home minimum wage or mortgage eating better. This is a serious problem with sports and the die hards who bleed for it that’s no longer entertaining. Sure it’s nothing compared to the corruption running through the college game like gym bags packed with more than sneakers. Or those ignorant people refusing to stand up for those who take a knee or an arm in peaceful protest to the President and the National Anthem that disrespects only the former that does far more in that definition to them. But this is still a big problem. Even if it is seen as a minor one it still does major damage to the wallets, incomes and savings of those fans who just want to get a little closer to the game they love and a little further away from the mundane work and money matters that leaves them cheque to cheque looking for an escape.
As for this fan its all good, I’ve seen my fair share. I just wanted to take my lady to her first NBA game and enjoy it together (not in seperate seats for 150 each AXS). But hey, it’s cheaper to book a trip to Paris for two believe me (if you don’t get it, that’s what we did for last years game instead. As a flight and hotel to the City of Light for two days for two cost less than resold nosebleed tickets for the game where someone I can’t remember played the Nuggets of all teams…Happy Birthday baby). Get romantic and make it happen. It would be more worth your time, effort and enjoyment I’m telling you. And I love this game!
I’m going to take that 400 you’re asking for on Stub Hub for two tickets worth 35 each and take her to see a game in New York…crooks! That’s almost as much. Time to stop ripping off real fans, especially when countless tickets appear on Stub Hub marked all the way up more than twice over minutes after the damn presale when fans are still in that “don’t refresh” online que.
And one more thing for this rant, what about families? It used to be about fans taking their kids to their first NBA game when they can’t go on vacation to see one now it’s businessmen on comp tickets mining Instagram likes.
Scroll past all that but not this Stub Hub is an official partner of wait for it…AXS. The same only, official provider of NBA London. And if you’re lucky enough to go to this capital city game that will take all yours and pick yourself up a number 1 Fultz Sixers jersey, look down at your left lapel as you take your seat and just see whose name is the sponser of that jersey and team you’re about to watch play.
MVP Brandon Clarke dominates, leads Grizzlies to 2019 NBA Summer League Title
Canadian Brandon Clarke, the 21st pick of the 2019 Draft dominated the NBA’s annual summer showcase — becoming the first player to take home both tournament and championship game most valuable player honors with a dominant 15 points, 16 rebounds double-double. The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 to win the 2019 NBA Summer League championship.
The former Gonzaga standout added 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 25 minutes.
In six games of summer league action, Clark averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Vancouver native shot 55% from the field and becomes the first ever Canadian to win MVP at the NBA Summer League.
Clarke was also named to the first-team all-NBA Summer League team. Other standouts included fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker who joined Clarke on the first-team. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher was named to the second-team.
New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground
Magnitudes off the Richter. An earthquake hit Sin City like jackpot in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada out in the desert last week.
And as the Jumbo-tron still shook like the music it was pumping, many people in awe inspired attendance would have been forgiven for thinking it was Zion. As the Duke standout and the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Williamson made us feel more tremors than Kevin Bacon. As the new New Orleans Pelican burst out the hardwood and flew, man-handling a steal off an opponent who’s just a poster now’s inbounds pass and put back a viscous, signature slam that felt like they still tested atomic bombs out in the Nevada desert overlooking the electric, neon skyline. All whilst new and former teammates respectively, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Anthony Davis looked on with “here comes the big airplane” mouths.
But after the road to Mount Zion’s knee injury lead to more Patrick Ewing ice than up there in Japan’s Mount Fuji, it was better the Blue Devil you know. As the Knicks third pick RJ Barrett ended up moving the needle more over this scorching, seasonal tourney of the youthful future of this association. Looking as good as those beautiful blue Knicks Summer League jerseys that are so clean we want to see them fresh off the press in the the NBA Store in NYC. So much so that even if RJ handed you one of his autographed signatures post game you’d still be like, “you got this in a medium?”
Sounding better than all those thirsty announcers singing “Summer Leeeeague” like The Isley Brothers this time of year classic, ‘Summer Breeze’. Making everything feel fine as he blew through defenders like the Jasmine in my mind. RJ initialed his dynamic debut and mainstream moment. Making Knicks’ fans almost forget that they just lost out on their number one goal, Zion Williamson. Or their free agent duo desire of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who ended up on the other side of New York, across that bridge from Manhattan in Brooklyn with the Nets…almost. Following the sweated out, hard nosed 90’s were only Jordan and Starks shots got in the way of golden era glory, the Knicks’ now have their first real leader in the post Porzingis era since Syracuse star ‘Melo for the Orangemen.
And he’s not alone. Barrett who was choosing Knicks’ mannequin heads to bucket on New York’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon nights before the draft cap has plenty to pass to in a Pelican rivaling young core of young guns, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier, new free agent signing Julius Randle (this Pel is still a big ‘cat out of Kentucky like Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins reunited on the Lake Show like purple and gold fans hoped he would be too), Elfrid Payton and of course the soaring Dennis Smith Jr. Not to mention a bolstered bench of Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock from more than midtown. Call it Chelsea, the Tribeca or even Battery Park after the High-Line of the Meatpacking District. The future of this franchise to the naked eye of ignorance is about to look better than the view from that new Vessel structure in Hudson Yards.
Barrett began in Vegas with some early snake eyes trouble. But rolling the dice again he turned into a killer like Brandon Flowers. The man. Come round. Nothing can break. Nothing can break him down. First he scorched California’s new look King sized Lakers for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. But it was his spell in his last Summer forecast against the Wizards were RJ showed Washington that just like NYC, DC may be America’s capital, but there’s nothing like New York, New York. He was so good you had to check the instant replay twice, with another 21 and 10, two perfect precision passes off cashing in a triple-double chip like he was a team that had both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster roll call. Houston, do you read me?
Averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a televised tournament that is basically a glorified practice scrimmage (tell me, do you even know who won the thing?) show he will be above so. The Canadian Maple Mamba has that syrup for your bacon. Even without free agent big names like Kevin and Kyrie who are one more decision away from being journeymen, forget super-teams, the Knicks may have a lifer in RJ from Coach K’s Duke fraternity administration in the association now. Can you relate? Barrett could be brilliant and New York no longer a rotten apple. But a couple of big names away from having their title again in the Mecca of Madison Square Garden’s, World’s Most Famous Arena in bright Times Square lights.
It’s almost a New Year for New York, time for the ball to drop.
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