But since the problem has less to do with the basic idea than with the execution, the solution seems as simple as toning down the histrionics of the design a few notches. We don’t need completely red or blue fields to realize that today is a special day.
And while it might hurt us, this action might not be for us basketball geeks who are aware of the every day and think that if Chicago beats Charlotte by more than 12 points, it retains the mathematical options to be the top two. This seems like a move designed for the casual American fan who doesn’t even know the format of the tournament and finds the game on replay when he switches channels after watching the NFL. And a light bulb goes on for that fan and he’s interested to know why the parquet is suddenly purple. That man from Alabama is the one the NBA wants to hook, because it already has us. So we still have to accept that these colors won’t go away.
The NBA is crazy about making Las Vegas a part of the competition. And in anticipation of a possible expansion that would give the city a team, they’ve turned it into the headquarters of the city’s final four. With a result that is not as satisfactory as one might expect.
In that sense, the comparison between the quarter-final matches and the semi-finals is painful. Bankers Life Field-house in Indiana was a hive of activity against Boston , you really felt a playoff atmosphere, of celebration, of excitement. But in the semifinals against Milwaukee, everything was more muted. Empty seats, neutral fans who enjoyed the show but were far from conveying the passion generated by 15,000 souls supporting their own. And while what was seen on the track was equally impressive, some aura was missing. Yes but…
In 2020, Anthony Davis made a game winning basket at the buzzer against Denver in the Orlando bubble, and LeBron James said his only regret was that that act did not come in front of a packed hall because the feeling is completely different. And it’s not that the crowds at the last four have been comparable to an empty pavilion, they’re not either, but it’s shocking that the league has fought so hard to make this tournament relevant and then take its final phase to a territory where it leaves to live with so much suffering. They certainly didn’t expect it to be like this. But if the NBA was hoping for a bachelor party in Las Vegas, it has found a baby shower.