There's been no lack of controversy regarding the San Antonio Spurs' chaotic Game 1 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday, but it appears everyone has reached at least one consensus: AT&T Center was too dang hot, thanks to a faulty air conditioning system.
After the game, members from both teams opened up a bit on the unusually toasty temperatures in the arena, which apparently rose above 90 degrees by the final buzzer. Via ESPN:
"I think it was probably tough on both teams," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Players were pretty dead. So we tried to get guys in and out a little bit more than we usually do. Kind of screws up the rhythm a little bit but it was mighty hot out there."
Indeed, things got heated in a very literal way during Thursday's game. LeBron James, basketball-playing robot-human cyborg, needed to leave with leg cramps -- which, if you haven't heard, can be some pretty serious business.
After the game, James spoke briefly about his departure, which garnered significant attention around the league. He was understandably disappointed with how things played out.
"It's frustration and anger, but at the same time, it's something that you try to prevent, you try to control," James said. "I mean, I got all the fluids I need to get, I do my normal routine I've done and it was inevitable for me tonight, throughout the conditions, you know, out there on the floor. I lost all the fluids that I was putting in in the last couple of days out there on the floor. It sucks not being out there for your team, especially at this point in the season."
Despite some pretty superlative play from both teams, the lack of air conditioning eventually ended up hijacking the Game 1 narrative. By the end, players were fighting the absurdly high temperatures as much as they were battling each other.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili noted how the temperature became an increasingly large factor as time passed:
"At a point, we would go to the bench and I would see cold towels everywhere and I didn't realize back then," Ginobili said. "Then when we went to the locker room at halftime, whew, we were sweating more in the locker room than on the court, and when we came back, it was tough."
From the players and coaches to reporters and fans, everyone was not too happy being reminded of the terrible old days before the advent of machine-cooled air. That is, except for Spurs guard Tony Parker, because apparently there's no air conditioning in France.
"Me personally, it didn't bother me, felt like in Europe," Parker said. "Felt like I was playing in the European championship. We never have AC in Europe, so it didn't bother me at all."
Parker had 19 points and eight assists over a game-high 37 minutes.
Unsurprisingly, given how much better San Antonio's star player dealt with the heat, Miami's Erik Spoelstra discussed his frustration after the game. However, much of it was directed towards his team's ability to deal with the temperature.
"I think it felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench, but at the same time, we still had an opportunity to make plays going down the stretch, and they made obviously the biggest plays in the last five minutes."
Luckily for everyone involved, NBA president of basketball operations John Thorn says the league expects San Antonio to have its arena ready for Game 2 on Sunday.
"They have from tonight until Sunday to get it fixed," Thorn said. "We do not foresee any problems at all come Sunday. We think it will be fixed come Sunday and we will be able to play under normal conditions."