Quick, without thinking, who do you think would win a battle between Wizards and Monsters?
Well, those who run the Verizon Center in the nation's capital may be forced to decide that battle once and for all if their hometown Wizards can hang with the Indiana Pacers.
According to Michael Lee of The Washington Post, a Lady Gaga concert scheduled for May 15 at the Verizon Center could present a conflict for the Wizards-Pacers series if it reaches six games. The NBA's conference semifinals schedule, released Saturday night, has Indiana traveling to Washington if necessary.
“We are aware of the potential conflict and are working with the promoter in the event Game 6 is necessary, more information will be released when it becomes available," a team-released statement said.
As it stands, Gaga's tour has a scheduled off day for May 16 as she travels to Detroit. That could open up a potential compromise for both sides, but also stands to create a whole lot of angry fans who booked long trips or took off work to attend the concert. The tour does not have any extended breaks until early June, opening the Verizon Center officials to a sea of understandable complaints if no compromise is reached.
Of course, it's more notable that Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the Ted Leonsis-run company that owns the Verizon Center, would have approved a concert of this magnitude on this date to begin with. While these venues are only profitable if they offer year-round entertainment, a majority of concert stadiums that couple as professional sports arenas halt those activities in case their team makes the playoffs.
One could easily surmise scheduling this concert was a sign of how much faith Leonsis had in either of his professional sports franchises. Along with the Wizards, Leonsis is the majority owner of the NHL's Washington Capitals. The Capitals failed to make the playoffs this season, alleviating concern on that front.
However, the Wizards being a second-round playoff team was far from an unforeseen circumstance. They have stockpiled veteran talent to surround John Wall dating back to the Nene trade midway through the 2011-12 NBA season. Given Washington traded a top-12 protected draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for center Marcin Gortat in August, it's fair to say the franchise took an all-in approach to making the playoffs this year.
Now that the Wizards lived up to expectations and dispatched of the Chicago Bulls in five games, it's at the very least a minor distraction that isn't a good look for Leonsis. Odds are, Gaga will preemptively reschedule. There is a reason the clause "time and date are subject to change" is printed on every ticket.
That said, it's at least mildly amusing to imagine a scenario in which 20,000 screaming Gaga fans dressed in their finest meat dress do battle against a bunch of happy-go-lucky Wizards supporters in John Wall replica jerseys.
However, expect cooler and more rational heads to prevail for all involved.
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