I’m pretty sure it’s the dream of every basketball fan with an annual income under $250,000 to sit courtside at an NBA game just once in their life. Well, at least it was mine. On Sunday, I had that dream come true when the fine people at Gatorade and High Road Communications had me experience a new contest they’re unveiling in the next couple weeks — one in which they give away dope seats to sporting events across the world. So, there I was, just a normal kid sitting courtside for the Raps and Celtics.
I won’t talk about the actual game as much as the experience, but I’ll start off by saying Toronto lost, as usual, to the bad boy Celtics. Are we ever gonna make a stand against these guys? Without KG, Boston jumped to an early 10-0 lead and never trailed in a 114-107 win. A little excitement at the end with a late Raptor push, but nothing to show for it. Oh well, it didn’t do too much to dampen the mood.
Anyway, probably the best part of sitting that close was witnessing Rasheed Wallace swearing at the refs first-hand. There’s actually a lot more to ‘Sheed than what you see on TV, though — the guy doesn’t just periodically blow up at these guys, he’s having a constant conversation with them all game, lobbying for calls and letting them know just what’s his. Sweet kid. Anyway, this sets up the highlight of the day for me: Early in the third quarter, Wallace caught a pass right in front of me and fired a three with me yelling in his ear. Of course, the shot dropped, and ‘Sheed did a little turnaround and glare. Never thought I’d be the guy getting glared at by an NBA player after he nails a three, and it actually felt pretty, pretty, pretty sweet.
Another guy with a mouth on him (and this comes as no surprise): Celtics tough guy Kendrick Perkins. The funniest moment of the game came when Perk was fouled in close and yelled at a couple teenagers sitting behind the net to “eat a d—!” The big boy proceeded to miss a pair of free throws that gave the Raps a shot to pull closer, but a couple late turnovers sealed our heroes’ fate.
All in all, a crazy afternoon (can you believe Rasheed glared at me?!) and one that I’ll be talking about for about 27 years, or at least until Gatorade and High Road randomly choose me to sit courtside and run up a tab on their credit cards again. Seriously though, it was incredible — an experience I won’t soon forget.