Say what you want about sending two lottery-level NBA clubs on a cross-Atlantic trip to play a pair of ultimately meaningless games, but not one of the 18,500-plus in attendance for the Toronto Raptors-New Jersey Nets game last night can fairly complain about not getting his/her money’s worth.
Those attending the O2 Arena for the Saturday night festivities got a whole lot of action, as the teams went into triple overtime before the Nets finally overcame by a huge final score of 137-136 while wowing thousands and naturally breeding the blogosphere and YouTube. News ‘n’ notes from the game follow.
• The official NBA clip emphasizes the dagger, thrown again and again as the two teams lurched into overtime and over-overtime.
• Three minutes’ worth of late-game highlights, again backed by “Black Dream” from Prosperous:
• The dunk of the game, however, came early as DeMar DeRozan throws down the alley-oop sickly. While some players may have had body-clock issues, DeRozan certainly enjoyed his spell in England vis-à-vis personal stats: The Raptor went for back-to-back 30-point games will conquering jet lag by playing 88 minutes in the two nights.
• This writer’s choice for play of the game? Heck, BiE has to go with former Los Angeles Lakers/Team Slovenia guard Sasha Vujacic and his clutch three. One always has to wonder if Sasha’s next YouTube highlight is his last…
• An ESPN blogger meanwhile reports much optimism on the parts of Sasha and fellow Nets Jose Calderon and Dan Gadzuric, while high-profile owner Mikhail Prokhorov was well pleased with the Deron Williams acquisition while proclaiming in London that “We are not in a rush. We have 1½ years to make a really good team and then go on and win a championship, because that is our one goal.” Now if they can only sign Common, the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets could really be onto something.
• As a sextet of famous Brits once liked to say, “And now for something completely different…” Leave it to the British tabloids to devote half a page of “news” space to the game’s finer points — like the celebrities in the crowd — while simultaneously giving a language lesson (“WAG” may be translated into American English as “wives and girlfriends,” whereas “wonga” means “cash, dosh, moolah, kale” or even simply “money”) whilst providing ample opportunity to view the Nets cheerleaders.
• According to these two dudes reporting from a London hotel, some folks in Britain don’t know that draws (a.k.a. ties) don’t stand in NBA games.
• Finally, Toronto Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo tries to put a positive spin on two consecutive losses in London. No word on the Euroraptors’ current 3-20 run, however…