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.
Dame Time Forever. What Are Those New Adidas ‘Black Panther’s’?
Adidas are in the Endgame now.
Before we get started, Havlicek would have stole that ball. Just saying Paul George. Stop acting like Paul Pierce. It wasn’t a “bad shot”. And R.I.P. to a Boston Celtic and storied NBA great. Dear John will be stealing every ball in hoop heaven. Rest peacefully.
Like a cat toying with a mouse. That’s how we described Lillard’s Dame Time winning clutch three from Mt. Hood as Portland gave Oklahoma City roses in the first round this week. Damian had more clock than grandfather’s and still took his time. Because it is his after all.
And now as timely as ever in the same week as one of the greatest playoff game and series winning shots in basketball for all time and one of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood history coming out with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, this cat is building a superhero legendary legacy.
You better check a comic-book or something.
T’Challa may have been Thanos snapped to cat litter in the Avengers ‘Infinity War’, but the King of Wakanda has a regal gift by royal appointment to Damian Lillard like he did Victor Oladipo in a victorious Slam Dunk Contest for testament tributes last season.
The cat has something out the bag.
Now you may be screaming “what are those” like Shuri at these royal sandals, but try these sneakers on. They embody everything about the next gen, nano tech Black Panther suit she developed for this emperor’s clothes. All the way down to the texture and trim which straps “Wakanda Forever” over the laces. The titan mad purple that runs like veins through Chadwick Boseman’s superhero suit absorbs all the blows he takes and turns it into a recharged deflecting energy pulse. Kind of like all the rock the baby and wrist tapping crap Damian Lillard was taking off Russell Westbrook before he absorbed it all and gave it back in a half century energy that exploded with a game winning fireball.
Never delete that footage.
Marvel have also gifted Dame with his own Black Panther mask like Oladipo, but this time canvas created from his super sneakers. Part of the ‘Heroes Among Us’ series from the three stripes, a comic-strip advertising campaign has been crafted. Featuring Lillard standing in front of the downtown RIP City, PDX skyline looking Wakandan in artwork akin to the ‘Nation Under Our Feet’ graphic novel redux series that rebooted this classic character before his feature film debut.
Damian may have played Killmonger villain to the Oklahoma Thunder, going G.O.A.T. like Michael Jordan B. But he’s a hero to us now blazing a trail like a human torch possessed with a fire and the heart of a lion inside all that panther power.
The Dame 5 will assemble with the arc of the bolted up ‘Iron Man’ Harden Vol. 3 for James and the patch of the ‘Nick Fury’ TMac 1 for Tracy McGrady. As well as the ‘Captain America’ Adidas N3XT L3V3L, and a ‘Captain Marvel’ Adidas Pro Vision for all those who could take the lead all day, with us ’till the end of the line. HIGHER. FURTHER. FASTER.
But we know which ones will be clawed off the stores shelf throne come it’s big blockbuster release with ‘Endgame’ right now.
It’s a drip fit for a King.
RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX
Even two games down the Thunder bolt boys joked like the last laugh that was yet to be delivered, like this what’s the 4-1 punchline. Zero to zero for the best series of these NBA Playoffs so far, Russell Westbrook rocked the baby at Damian Lillard, before mocking his wrist watch celebration like he did Laker meme Lance Stephenson’s air guitar strumming one with D’Angelo Russell ice in his veins. All before Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired on a game that was already decided way before the horn blared.
“It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”
But then last night before posting that Sun Tzu quote on Instagram in this art of war. In the face of P.G. the PDX P.G. beat the buzzer as Dame Time struck from way downtown RIP City. With an Austin 3:16 bottom line to give OKC the history engraved tombstone and the Portland Trail Blazers a legendary storied, legacy making championship belt for this classic series in hardwood history.
Reminding us of that time Charles Barkley responded to a Nike barbershop ad featuring former Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell joking about dunking on him by putting all the points on them in the following game and running past them on the bench draped in dejected towels shouting, “put that in a f###### commercial!”
Colder than February. More ruthless than a convertible in Summer.
37 feet high and rising from deep. Deep as the halfcourt abyss. With the this time of season cherry blossoms blooming outside Portlandia’s Moda Center, the City of Roses was handing everyone from basketballs Oklahoma home funeral flowers. And leading the precession, hearse wrapping it up like his killer bars, Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money like exact change only please, waving goodbye. Even if Paul George walking off in defeat like LeBron James and getting his Vlade Divac on in a press conference more awkward than a blind date with an ex called it a “bad shot”. To which the great Dame simply replied with a tweeted “lol” (see also, laugh and last). He better Big Shot Bobby Horry check a newspaper or something. Dame Time didn’t just beat the buzzer. He took baby powder to it. As Dame had all the Louis Armstrong time in the world with ten on the clock and the last shot in this final frame to dribble drive or dish. But instead, toying with George like a cat does a mouse, as David beat Goliath like Jerry did Tom, Lillard had the sand to set up shop, his spot and his shot from what looked like a bunker. A hole in one, with the cocksure confidence of Tiger Woods putting for Masters glory in Augusta and embracing his kids, two decades after doing the same with his pops all for the green jacket.
From this master, like a tap in putt with no Mulligan to carry, this was always going in. Nothing but net. All water like those Thunder tears. O.K. now that was a 3.
And to think I swore I wouldn’t go back on social media until after the new Avengers movie came out, but DAMN Dame Time! Spoiler alert, this is the new ‘Endgame’ now.
Cousy. Pettit. Sam Jones. Wilt. Chuck Barkley. M.J. And now the Dame train as the legendary Lillard goes hard to join this lineage as the only players to hit 50 in a playoff clinching game. And what a way to do it, fading away to clock out of the game and series 118-115 for the greatest Portland playoff moment since the G.O.A.T’s shrug. As mobbed by teammates on the floor he sank into, telling Russ to ‘Get Out’ his house. Peeling off like Jordan, Damian all on his own like a devil, GIF turned into an instant meme, as he turned the Thunder into a memory (you know the one were everyone loses their mind around that smirking kid with glasses in the raincoat? Well now guess which superheroes face is super imposed?). Staring into the camera with that look you know was for Russell Westbrook.
What a whole mood.
Whose left holding the baby now?
Dame didn’t even have to check his watch. Why? Him, her, them. They all knew what time it was. His. As Dame Lillard just did it in the Oregon home of Nike. Shoe dog like Phil Knight, running off victory for the courtside crowd, including legendary comedian Cedric the Entertainer for this last laugh lap. As this Gladiator hit one of the best and biggest shot fired in NBA history. Subliminal and literal.
Are you not entertained?
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