From the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins:
The Magic are scrambling to find hotel accommodations prior to their game this upcoming Saturday against the Pacers in Indianapolis.
There’s just one problem: There are no hotel rooms available in Indianapolis because Super Bowl XLVI will be played there the following day.
“You guys can comment on that and save me my money,” Van Gundy told reporters, referring to a potential fine from the league if he said something controversial. “But when you come out with the schedule in December and have a game in the Super Bowl city, lodging might be a problem.”
The Magic asked the league if they could simply stay in Orlando and fly to Indianapolis on the day of the game to play the Pacers, but the league shut that down out of the fear that the flight would get delayed somehow and the game would have to be cancelled. Ultimately, the Magic will spend the night before the Pacers game in a hotel in Cincinnati. Not the finest moment for the NBA’s scheduling department, which, while trying to cram 66 games into a truncated schedule, appears to have made a bit of an oversight.
Are there going to be any NBA players on your television during the Super Bowl? Well, LeBron James will not be on the sidelines (the Heat play at home that day). Maybe he or Kobe Bryant show up in an ad, maybe not.
But there will be one NBA owner — Mark Cuban.
Selling Skechers. He is apparently buying into the shoe company and will be in their ad, reports The Big Lead. The ad will tell the story of some small dog beating greyhounds in a race because he wears Skechers. Funny stuff, I’m sure. I owned some Skechers, pretty sure they made me slower (which is hard to do, by the way) but I’ll check it out. It could be funny.
But, of course, there is controversy. It follows Cuban around like the paparazzi follows around Jay-Z. From The Big Lead.
GREY2K USA, a non-profit group based in Somerville, Mass., opposes all greyhound racing and cites numerous instances of abuse and deaths to support its cause. “Thousands of greyhound advocates around the world signed our petition [to have Skechers ban the commercial] and also sent direct e-mails to company officials,” the group writes on its Web site….
Skechers described the commercial as “focusing on humor – and embracing our position as an underdog as Skechers launches a new lightweight, flexible running shoe with revolutionary mid-foot strike technology.”
I’m sure Cuban is really losing sleep over this. I want him to know it’s all okay with me. In fact, if he buys my Dodgers, I’ll even go out and buy some Skechers.
LeBron James is a man who likes a good party.
And Super Bowl Sunday is really about parties — ones that start long before the game kicks off under a massive video screen.
Which is why the Heat had a noon tip-off against the Clippers Sunday, so fans could come to the game and still make it to their parties in plenty of time.
LeBron was thinking the same thing — which is why he got frustrated when the refs were not moving the game along. In the fourth quarter the Heat’s Eddie House saw Clipper phenom Blake Griffin about to take off for one of his patented ally-oops and to break up the play he shoved him and Griffin went down hard.
The refs instantly called a flagrant 2 — meaning a House ejected, free throws and the ball for the Clippers — but then went to the video to make sure it was the right call.
As the refs were reviewing the video, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets James tried to speed them along saying:
“I got a Super Bowl party to go to man, c’mon.”
LeBron understands that Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial holiday in this country and you have to get to the party early. I bet the refs party was not nearly as cool.