National Basketball Association – Development League
Friday 13th January 2017
Tip Off 19.30
Texas Legends 121 Rio Grande Valley Vipers 139, attendance 5,475
@ Dr Pepper Arena
2601, Avenue of the Stars
Frisco, TX 75034
Admission $10 + $7.50 fees, Print at Home Ticket
Programme free, 44 pages.
Well, where do I start with this ? Perhaps try and see a few positives from the evening.
The Dr Pepper Arena was opened in 2003 and underwent renovation in 2009. There are around 6,000 seats, set out in a horseshoe, although the ones at the end of the court offer a dreadful view of the action, although that is not too much of a problem to the average American sports fan, as the actual game is of no interest to them whatsoever. On arrival, you park next to the arena in one of two multi storey car parks, for $10. When entering the building you would never know Basketball even existed. There is an ice rink inside the entrance and a huge club shop…….which is all for the Dallas Stars of the NHL. They also have their offices here. The basketball is up the escalators, on the next level, although no signs tell you that.
The foyer area was teaming with loads of kids, perhaps ten years old and below, who I assumed were there for some kind of event at the ice rink…….how wrong could I be. Unfortunately, they were here for some promotion involving Frisco Independant Schools District and Texas Legends, according to what was printed on the front of the match programme. It got even worse when actually entering the arena itself. Set up at each end of the court were inflatable ‘bouncy castle’ type contraptions and a ‘bucking bronco’. There were also hula hoops and basketballs flying back and forth in a melee of a couple of hundred kids at each end. Still, at least once the game started it would quieten down. Wrong again, as it continued through the entire game, and as is always the case when kids are dragged along to a game, some of them get bored and the running up and down the aisles of the seats becomes the ‘in thing’.
Luckily, I had bought the cheapest available ticket, which was actually on a corner, just set back behind the court. Needless to say, it was possible to move to a better seat, which I did, over in the Club Seats, which were on sale at $28 and were very nicely padded and far better than the plain plastic ones elsewhere. This was also the only place where the match programme was available, as there was a copy hung over the back of each seat. Another problem remained here though, the fact that music was played full blast throughout the game. I know they play it at all NBA games, but that is just occasional bursts at to whether the team are attacking or defending, not non stop for over 2 hours !
I am not too sure just what kind of players actually play in the Development League, as to me it says ‘reserves’ or ‘up and coming’. Surely, if these younger players were any good, they would be playing at a decent level of College Basketball ?
As for Texas Legends……..that conjures up images of the likes of Dirk Nowitzki at Dallas Mavericks, Tim Duncan at San Antonio Spurs, or members of the Houston Rockets that won back to back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995, not a team of players hopeful of perhaps one day getting a game at the highest level. It has to be possibly the worst name ever thought up to brand a team like this.
As for the game itself, I can’t really comment, as it was so hard to try and concentrate amid the constant distractions, that it became nothing more than an endurance test, which I failed to complete, as with 7 minutes left on the clock, and Vipers up by 18 points, I called it a day. Enough is enough.
In case anyone wonders…..Legends are affiliated to Dallas Mavericks, whilst the Vipers are linked to Houston Rockets.