Ball Three

The Washington Wizards have one more pitch to Miami left before they allow the Heat to advance on the basepaths.

(Pardon me while I sit back and bask in the glory of that sentence.)

I was at Game Three of the Second Round NBA Playoff Series between the Heat and the Wizards. This was a critical Game Three match-up as no team in NBA history has ever come back from a three game defecit to win a series. I wish the crowd acted like it. It was a late-arriving crowd, and at no point could you convince me that the place was sold-out.

The fans only got up for some really good plays. They even sang the Unofficial Maryland Fight Song, the one that goes, “Hey, You Suck”. My friend Nick called it Maryland Alumni Night.

The rally towels were a nice touch, but aside from a few moments of mass hysteria, didn’t make much of a factor in the outcome.

Even with the Big Fella out for the game, Washington failed to take advantage of the inside. Georgetown Alumnus Alonzo Mourning played as ferociously as he was ever billed and frightened our boys into jacking up long-range shots nearly four out of five trips down the floor (or what seemed like it). They kept it close for the first half, but the Heat didn’t look back after taking a 79-70 lead late in the third.

Celebrity sightings included Gheorge Muresan and Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq looked me in the camera lens as he walked out of the locker room. My camera failed me and the shot is absolutely terrible. At one point, I happened to be three feet from legendary Georgetown coach, John Thompson and current Georgetown coach John Thompson III. I nearly ran into Doc Walker as he was chatting some cute girls on the concourse. As in, did a faceplant into his shoulder.

Also, right next door at the National Building Museum, Princess Haifa bint Faisal, wife of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States was hosting a fashion show for Middle Eastern designers. I was told that it was a beautiful event which brought a lot of the diplomatic community together under one roof. I had just crawled out of the Phone Booth, I wasn’t quite appropriately attired to see the event transpire, even the clean-up. No one ever said Washington was a one-horse show.

Nonetheless, my friends and I can claim to have been to a Wizards playoff game. Here’s hoping that the team improves in the coming seasons to the point where I can make above said claim and not be laughed at.

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