A broken air conditioning system at the AT&T Center in San Antonio turned Game 1 into one of the strangest NBA Finals games in recent history.
LeBron James had to be carried off the court with cramps as temperatures broke 90 degrees inside the arena.
“They’re trying to smoke us out of here,” a distressed LeBron was caught on camera saying in the third quarter.
After the game coaches, players, and league officials lamented the heat. The NBPA called the conditions “completely unacceptable.”
There were some people who were unaffected by the heat, though — San Antonio’s foreign stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
After the game, the two players said they were used to not playing in air conditioning, and didn’t get what the big deal was.
Manu Ginobili, who’s from Argentina, told reporters that he has played more games without AC than with AC:
“It’s the same heat for both and we did OK. We moved the ball and I don’t think we turned the ball over because of the temperature or the heat, so I don’t think it was a big factor. I don’t know if LeBron’s situation, this was the reason for that. I don’t think we suffered as much. And for sure I played more years in situations like this than with AC on the court. Not a big deal in that case.”
Tony Parker, from France, said the same thing:
“Felt like I was playing in the European Championship. We never have AC in Europe, so it didn’t bother me at all.”
The Spurs are full of international players. Thiago Splitter, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Aaron Baynes, and Marco Belinelli are all from overseas.
These quotes certainly put things in perspective.
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