Couldn’t make it to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the two pre-season games? Fret not! We got you covered on all the happenings inside the Fortress on Fourth Street that had very little to do with the paid professionals on the court.
I walked into the Bradley Center for the first time this season and instantly felt an adrenaline rush. High fives and handshakes were doled out by the security staff as buzzing fans filled the windowed walls of the 4th Street entrance.
I wanted to check out the team store and see if any new gear had made its way into the inventory, but alas no new gear was found. I spent about 5 minutes in the team store and heard, “The Nike jerseys will be here for the first regular season home game,” at least a dozen times. Just so we are all clear:
THE NIKE JERSEYS WILL BE AVAILABLE STARTING FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20TH, THANK YOU.
The flying, inflatable Bango dropped a rolled up t-shirt into the crowd and it nailed a kid in the head. He had no idea the inflatable Bango could drop t-shirts (to be fair I totally forgot and thought some mechanical equipment just malfunctioned; the little kid recovered and was happy with his new adult XL t-shirt), but now he knows.
Maricarmen Cartagena kicked off the home slate with a well-done and brisk national anthem that clocked in at 1:17. Everyone was itching to have live basketball again and the speedy rendition was appreciated.
Friday the 13th’s singer, 10 year old Lulu Sammarco, delivered the softest, most angelic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. It made my ears happy and I wish it would have gone on longer than the 1:35 we were blessed with it.
Free throw challenge
As I was walking along the concourse shaking off the concessions prices, I was approached to participate in some in-game entertainment, and I went with the free-throw challenge.
[gulp] pic.twitter.com/0xOD7UcHgX— Greg Licht (@Greg_Licht) October 5, 2017
My main goal was to not air ball any, which I thankfully didn’t. It took me awhile to find the touch but eventually I got into a nice rhythm with my rebounders. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as we tied with scores of five after 45 seconds:
I lost the tiebreaker before we went out. I went paper, he went scissors— Greg Licht (@Greg_Licht) October 5, 2017
The autographed Khris Middleton ball would not go home with me that night. The real kicker is that the wife of the guy I lost to, ended up winning a miniature autographed Khris Middleton basketball in a jumbo-tron game, that is one lucky family.
For those unfamiliar, on the jumbo-tron they showed a player’s head shot, then the contestant had to guess whether the next player to be revealed had a jersey number that was either higher or lower than the jersey number of the current player shown.
I’ll provide a play-by-play inner monologue I had while watching this unfold with the ultimate “stick to what got me this far” contestant.
The first player revealed was number 21, Tony Snell, and our guy went with lower.
This makes sense since 8 out of the remaining 14 players have jersey numbers lower than Snell (57.1 percent expected success rate).
The next player revealed was Greg Monroe who rocks number 15. This guy gave the same answer to the same question - lower.
Only 6 out the 13 remaining players have a jersey number lower than Monroe - this is borderline risky! (46.2 percent expected success rate).
The slight gamble paid off as Malcolm Brogdon’s beaming face appeared. Brogdon is number 13, of course, and our guy went lower again! He’s mental!
5 of the remaining 12 players have jersey numbers lower than the Prez. This guy is dumb. He deserves to lose right now (41.7 percent expected success rate).
Out pops Jason Terry! JET is number 3! He can’t possibly say lower again right?! Only Gary Payton II is lower but he was not a roster lock at the time this game was played, so really there’s nobody with a jersey number lower than Terry. With his head spinning and a final decision to be made, our favorite fool says lower once more...
Out pops Matthew Dellavedova’s smiling face and he has a number higher than Terry! The contestant snatched defeat from the jaw’s of victory!
The guy was still presented with the grand prize, an autographed Giannis Antetokounmpo basketball. That’s some bogus stuff right there.
The Rim Rockers were back at it again with their brand of dizzying Slamball-like dunks:
Friday’s contest doubled up as the MACC Fund Game and throughout the quarter and halftime breaks there were special donation presentations and incredibly heartwarming speeches being delivered.
Here’s a very large check with a very large sum on it:
Excellent. pic.twitter.com/meEo9RFidH— Eric Buenning (@ericbuenning) October 14, 2017
That’s a lot of moolah to help fund research for childhood cancer and blood disorders. The MACC Fund remains undefeated.
The only thing I overheard from my fellow attendees that is worth discussing further is, “D.J. Wilson reminds me of Josh Childress.”
Huh. I can kind of see it. I would be really disappointed (not surprised though) if Wilson had a Childress-like career arc. I think once Wilson plays out his rookie deal he will be a lesser rebounder than Childress was when he finished his rookie deal, but Wilson will be more effective from beyond the arc.
Is D.J. Wilson just going to be the modern version of Josh Childress? Would that be something we can live with? I think I could.
Lastly I will leave you with this:
Me in 40 years pic.twitter.com/dNUz1TUyW9— Greg Licht (@Greg_Licht) October 14, 2017
Can I get a, “Go BuuUUUcks?!”