SAN ANTONIO — As Game 1 of the went along the AT&T Center in San Antonio felt more and more like the old Boston Garden.
Not because of the vocal, loud crowd (although there is that), but rather the heat and humidity — it was hot and getting warmer all game.
By the end of the third quarter it was 89 degrees in the building according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (who apparently carries a thermometer around). I can vouch for that from inside the building, the heat has been escalating all game and it’s also very humid. It felt like bikram basketball.
The reason was an air conditioning malfunction that could not be quickly repaired, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com who wandered the bowels of the AT&T Center for the story.
According to building workers, an overheated circuit breaker was the culprit. Engineers in the bowels of the building were trying to get the breaker to cool down in the hopes that air conditioning could be restored.
If unsuccessful, the only other solution appeared to be installing a new circuit breaker on Saturday.
Here is the official statement from the AT&T Center:
“An electrical failure for the power that runs the AC system in the AT&T Center has occurred. We are continuing to work on resolving the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever played in anything like this since I left the islands,” said Tim Duncan, a native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, after the game.
NBA Vice President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn said there was never any consideration of stopping the game, no conversations with the referees, because the playing conditions were never dangerous (players were not slipping on condensation on the court).
The heat just made conditioning a bigger deal in what has been a tightly contested Game 1. LeBron James was feeling it and eventually had to leave the game, barely playing the final 7:31 of the game.