Tag Archives: nba playoffs

Q&A – Special K Daily from the Harlem Globetrotters Talks NBA Playoffs

14 May

With Cleveland’s collapse Thursday night, the NBA cosmos have become fully aligned and the conference finals are set to soon begin. To help us make sense of these two colossal matchups, we called upon Special K Daily from the Harlem Globetrotters. The Panamanian-born player will be profiled in the June issue of Venues Today magazine. We sat down with Special K to get his picks for this year’s playoffs.

You’ve been able to do dozens of television specials, reality shows and sports programs. What’s one of your more memorable television appearances you’ve had this last year?

I enjoy playing the celebrity games for NBA All-Star Weekend. They happened to be in Dallas this year, and it was my second time playing the celebrity game and I enjoy that. That has to be my highlight.

Speaking of the NBA, what are your playoff picks for the Western and Eastern conferences?

In the West, I think it’s going to be the Lakers. Of course it’s not going to be easy against the Phoenix Suns, but I think the Lakers are going to take it. In the East, I’m picking Boston to beat Cleveland. I’m a big Kevin Garnett fan and I’m friends with Paul Pierce, so I want to see them all succeed and win the game, then go on to beat Orlando.  That’s who I think is going to be playing in the championship, and after that, whoever wins, I’ll be happy either way.

If you look at the four teams in the playoffs, which team owns the best venue?

I like Los Angeles and the Staples Center, playing in front of all the stars. The building is beautiful and I have family there that doesn’t get to see me play live, except once a year.

Boston is a great market. They’re having two playoffs right now with the Bruins and the Celtics. What’s it like to play at the TD Garden?

It is incredible, I’ll tell you. Incredible. I think when we played there earlier this year it was almost sold out. They have great basketball fans, and they also have great Globetrotter fans. The thing about us is that we have many fans that are not even sports fans but they just love what we do as Globetrotters. So we get those fans and also get the basketball fans that enjoy spectacular plays on the basketball court and Boston is one of those places that has both of those types of fans and I really love it and the energy is incredible. The history at the arena is incredible.

And they’re going to build a new arena in Orlando, what do you think about that?

That’s always fun. We just got back from Argentina and we played in a very, very historic arena called Luna Park. We were the first basketball game to be played in the arena, and then a few weeks ago, we were the last to ever play there. I wish we could be the first game to play in Orlando, but I don’t think that will happen. Its always fun to play at a new facility. Facilities are getting so sophisticated, that I’m sure we’re going to see some things that we have never seen in facilities before. So that’s going to be fun to see.

Podcast Episode Three Notes

7 May

Venues Podcast

Episode 3 – Music City Underwater

Broadcast date: May 7

This week, Shawn and Dave take a look at the devastating floods that have soaked Nashville and much of the Middle Tennessee region, and we update listeners on the condition of some of Music City’s greatest venues. We also tackle the NBA & NHL Playoffs, with Dave longing for days when the Sacramento Kings were a Western Conference force to be reckoned with, while Shawn explains the nature of the Montreal Canadiens french-influenced nickname. We also tackle tazings in Philly, the economics of the body slam and a possible sports boycott in Arizona. Don’t ask us to our papers cause we left them in the studio.

:50 Playoffs. Playoffs? – Shawn and Dave break down the second round of the NBA playoffs with matchups between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics, as well as matchups for Phoenix, Los Angeles and Orlando. In Hockey, the pair gab on the Penguins/Canadiens series and Sharks/Red Wings.

4:50 Amway Part Duex – Orlando’s new Amway Arena, set to open for the beginning of the 2010/2011 season, has been rewarded the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.

Music – Nino Moschello, If You Believe (You Will Be Strong)

6:35 Three Dimensions of Fun — DirectTV and YES Networks air 3D broadcast of Yankees/Mariners Game. Baseball is first to air a game in three-dimensions, but Shawn and Dave wonder if the experience needs to be improved before it expands

9:20 The Scrilla — Earnings Reports for WWE, and Live Nation debt-restructuring. Is the newly merged music giant overleveraged?

Music — Broken Bells, “October”

13:26 FEATURE STORY — Music City underwater. A 500-year flood kills over 20 mid-Tennessee residents and destroys a number of Music City venues including the city’s largest meeting center, the Grand Opryland resort. We check in with LP Field, Bridgestone Arena and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

More: VT Nashville Venues Report

Music — Kitty Wells, “Searching (For Someone Like You)”

18:04 Show Me Your Papers — Dave and Shawn break down the impact of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration. Are the Los Suns here to stay? Will Arizona lose the Mid-Summer Classic. Will Shakira help us figure this out before it’s too late?

More: ABC News report on potential boycotts of the Grand Canyon State

Music — Manu Chao, “Clandestino”

24:18 Go Out or Stay Home – Shawn picks Free Energy & Jukebox, drops a diss-bomb on this year’s Ozzfest lineup. Dave says grab tickets for Country Throwdown tour, but skip MGMT run (and see Phoenix instead)

Music – Phoenix, “Fences”

28:50 Can I Dad? Please! — Philly fan changes game day operations by running out on the field, only to be stopped by a tazer? Are there any boundaries for MLB when it comes to taking people off the field (besides busting a cap). And why did this particular fan call his dad first for permission before charging the green.

More: ESPN video of Philly Fan getting tasered

Music – Pink Floyd, “The Happiest Days of Our Lives”

Soundcheck — Intern Jessica Boudevin announces the new Roger Water’s tour for famed Pink Floyd album “The Wall.”

– The End –

Recording date: May 6

Commentary by Dave Brooks, senior writer and assignment editor for Venues Today Magazine, and Shawn Gault, owner of Venue Gurus.

A look at the first round…

4 May

It’s playoff time for the National Basketball League and the National Hockey League, and venue managers for the 32 teams in the first rounds of the playoff are watching each game carefully to ensure that there facilities benefit from the added exposure of playing at sport’s highest level.

“Our team has had a great run so far, although we did get cheated out of two games,” joked Allan Johnson from the Amway Center in Orlando. The schedule for the NBA is a 2-2-1-1-1 system where the higher seeded team plays the first two games at home, then goes on the road for two games, then back home, then back on the road, then if necessary, plays Game 7 at home.

But the Orlando Magic didn’t need those three extra games against the Charlotte Bobcats, who lost the series 0-4 as new owner Michael Jordan sat courtside, looking mostly grim-faced as his team struggled through its first appearance ever in the playoffs.

“Last year was a fresh experience, having gone all the way to the Finals. The first round pales in comparison,” Johnson said. “We haven’t gotten a lot of the celebrities coming to the games yet. That will probably happen in the later rounds.”

Among the missing are golfer Tiger Woods, who was a courtside staple at last year’s playoffs. Johnson’s not worried — he saw Woods at a Nickleback concert last weekend — sitting on the stage.

In Philadelphia, the excitement over the Flyers is more palpable. After routing the New Jersey Devils 4-1, Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko has taken an oath not to shave until the team either wins the Stanley Cup, or gets eliminated from the finals.

“He and the executives are doing it to raise money for local charities through

the Flyers Beard-A-Thon promotion,” explained spokesperson Ike Richman.

Also new at the Flyer’s Wachovia Center is a sushi roll designed to look like a Flyer’s logo. Served in the arena’s upscale Cadillac Grille, the roll includes tuna and salmon rolls, garnished with black and orange caviar. One roll is $18.

For the fans on the concourse, concessionaire Aramark created the Flyers Superpretzel, shaped like a Flyers logo and retailing at $3.75. The team also created something called the Flyer’d Up Funnel Dog for $6. Only Richman can describe this item.

“It is a hot dog, wrapped in funnel cake batter, deep fried and topped with powdered sugar.  Were taking our biggest fan favorite food item and combining it with our most popular dessert item to get a Funnel Cake Hot Dog (better than a corn dog!),” he wrote in an email.  “The item is tentatively called the ‘Flyer’d Up Funnel Dog ‘ but we are open to suggestions.”

Over at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Lee Zeidman had two tenant teams in the playoffs, but the Kings have been eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks, while the Lakers are one game away from eliminating the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are making their first appearance in the playoffs.

“We’re not really doing that much different for the first round of the playoffs, but check back in with me in a few weeks,” he said. After all, this is familiar territory. The Lakers have been in the playoffs every year since the Staples Center opened in 1999, and have won four championships (and lost two).

At the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the team has seen an uptick in the number of fans who watch a simulcast of the away games in AT&T Plaza, just in front of the facility.

“We’re getting about 750-1,000 people per game,” said Ken Cool, assistant VP of Event Development. “We’ve created some additional food and beverage options to activate those spaces.”

His tenant team the Dallas Mavericks are trying to hold on against their arch rivals the San Antonio Spurs, who the Mavs play on the road tomorrow. The teams truly hate each other, Cool confirmed. But it’s a respectable hatred.

Also locked into a bitter death match are the Washington Capitals against the Montreal Canadians. Verizon Center GM David Touhey said he’s surprised it went to a Game 7. The Capitals are the top seeded team in the league and the series had the potential to be a big money-maker.

“The playoffs are all about surplus revenue, if you think you’re going into the playoffs, then you budget for a round or two of the playoffs,” Touhey said. “Right now the caps are on a sellout streak and during the playoffs, the consumer mindset is different. They buy more stuff and we open our doors and merch shop earlier. For some fans, going to the playoffs is a once in a lifetime experience.”

At least it’s the last chance they’ll have this season. The top-ranked Capitals were eliminated right at deadline. Better luck next year.

Interviewed for this article: Allan Johnson, (407) 810-3055; Ike Richman, (215) 389-9552; Lee Zeidman, (213) 742-7255; Ken Cool, (214) 665-4220; David Touhey, (202) 661-5060