This week we find ourselves in lead up to the AFL and NRL Grand Finals; events that will receive overwhelming press coverage. We’ll see final fever posted across newspaper headlines, websites, ads, blogging, and Twitter. Be set to expect selfies in team colours, hashtags, opinions, statistics and of course, the constant debate of ‘who will win at the big dance?’
Grand final week is always fun (especially for supporters whose teams are playing) however this article need not be another tab you intend to read, but never will. There will be enough about the Grand this week, so I’m looking to take us to the future, dear reader. Let us strap into the de Lorain as we’re travelling ALL THE WAY INTO THE FUTURE TO… Ah, just 10 days from now actually.
In a blast of flames we’ve stepped out of our time machine and arrived at the Entertainment Centre in Darling Harbour on the evening of October 10. Why this significant date in time? This day marks the start of the season for the the National Basket League(NBL). Tonight we are here to see the Sydney Kings play their first game against Cairns. Yes, the NBL, considered the ugly cousin of the sporting calendar to most, but have you actually been to a game? This year I’ve explored the positives of AFL, Le Tour De France and tennis, so why not basketball? A night at the Kings can be a cracker of an evening, so for the modern reader, lets bullet point the positives, shall we?
- Tickets are cheap, really cheap. General admission is usually about $20
- The fans are passionate, so the ambience is positive and fun
- It’s an entertaining game that’s over in under 2 hours, so there’s plenty of time to head out after
- The entertainment centre (now known as the qantas credit uniting arena) is in the bottom of China Town, so you can avoid having to park by the availability of cabs, trains and Ubers. Or for those living in the City, gain an added health benefit by walking or cycling to the game!
- The half-time entertainment provides added fun, such the dance-cam, T-shirt slingshot and on-court competitions
- For the nostalgic sports follower, the Kings still have cheerleaders. Yup, they are still a thing
- In the summer months when global warming is melting car tyres on the road outside, you’ll be clapping and enjoying yourself under epically cool air conditioning
- Okay, a biggy—kids love it! So whether you are the parent needing child entertainment, or your looking after your nieces and nephews, it’s got them
- Finally—the ground announcer. During the Kings home games you’ve got your own hype man on the PA system the whole time. He’s pumping up the crowd, getting you involved in chants and big upping the players. Is he annoying? No actually, it adds to the whole Americana styled entertainment of basketball. Plus you’re subconsciously sucked into it the songs like a Club Med sing-along
With all of these good points, why has it been tainted with the sub-par brush? I believe that people are underwhelmed by the NBL as they enter the arena with inflated memories. Remember that trip you took to New York and saw the Kicks play at Madison Square garden? This was the benchmark that was set, and it’s a seriously high bar to reach again. I make no suggestions that the NBL is on this level, what I’m saying is arrive with an open mind. This level below the NBA however doesn’t mean these dudes can’t play some ball. Sure there might not be as many dunks, but when someone does wind up for a slammer it’s way more exciting due to its rarity. ‘Nek Minute’ you’ll be buying a Kings hat, picking your favourite players and attending a game with mates will be the usual kick-starter to your nights out.
After all of your yelling, dancing and enthusiasm, the game is done… and this can be the best part if it’s a Friday night game. During summer, the Friday night Asian Food Markets in China Town are offer a plethora of street food for the hungry Upsider. A post-game Nosh is always a nice addition right?
Start practising clapping your hands and stomping your feet for the obligatory war chant at the NBL “Defence!” Clap Clap Clap and I’ll see you on the 10th.
Here’s the schedule for the Sydney Kings: