It’s not every day that air conditioning is a memorable part of the NBA Finals. This week, though, an electrical failure caused the air conditioning to shut off during Game 1 of the NBA Finals at San Antonio’s AT&T Center. As a result, players had to compete inside of an arena that soared to over 90 degrees in temperature. The Miami Heat, perhaps aptly named for the situation, wilted in these conditions, and along with their star player LeBron James they lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 110-95.
Basketball games are normally played in typical room-temperatures, and the heat was making its mark that day on players who were already exerting their bodies to the max. Several were putting ice on their necks while sitting on the bench in order to cool down, and spectators were fanning themselves with anything they had on hand.
The Spurs center, Tim Duncan, has agreed that the sweltering conditions contributed to the game’s outcome. “It was significant… it was definitely a factor,” he said. James, who cramped during the fourth quarter, had to be helped off the floor and was afterward out of the game. For this, he received criticism from many fans on social media, who tweeted sentiments such as, “If you can’t stand the Heat, get out of the AT&T Center.”
According to USA Today, Jason Terry, an NBA vet, is suspicious and questions the excuse that it was an electric failure, saying that in his many trips to San Antonio, he’s noticed that they often make it difficult on visitors. “I can remember very well one time where it was cold showers … This year, there was a snake in the locker room. So, they’re going to pull out all the stops to get into your head,” he remembers. It seems that other players in the game that day agreed. In a conversation with his teammates, James said, “They’re trying to smoke us out of here.”
“Without proper routine maintenance, air conditioners are more prone to break downs during the hottest parts of summer. We recommend getting systems maintained and checked twice a year to take care of problems before they arise and prevent break downs.” says Bo Thomas, president at Thomas HVAC.
The AT&T Center says that the electrical failure is now fixed, and the arena should be good for Game 2, which will commence on Sunday night.