LeBron James wasn't the only player affected by the absence of air conditioning in the AT&T Center on Thursday, though he appears to have been in the minority among his peers. On the whole, the San Antonio Spurs weren't bothered by the sweltering conditions during Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals.
That might've had something to do with the international flavor of San Antonio's diverse roster. Of those who've seen the floor for the Spurs in the playoffs, seven have spent significant time playing professionally overseas, where the creature comforts that we here in the United States expect from our sports facilities are rare commodities more often than not.
Noted CBS Sports' Matt Moore:
They're used to playing without air conditioning. After the AC went out in the AT&T Center, and temperatures rose over the course of the game, the Spurs' players said it didn't affect them, because it was normal going for them.
The Spurs confirmed as much themselves after closing out their 110-95 win. "It felt like I was playing in the European Championship. We never have AC in Europe so it didn't bother me at all," Tony Parker told reporters after the game (via ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst).
Added Manu Ginobili (via CBS Sports): "For sure, I've played more years in situations like this than with AC on the court. Not a big deal in that case."
According to The San Antonio Express-News' Dan McCarney, the Spurs were no worse for wear the morning after:
Pop said nobody complained about problems this morning. Spurs followed normal regimen of "shakes, fluids and things I don't understand."— Dan McCarney (@danmccarneysaen) June 6, 2014
They weren't the only ones who were able to cope with the sweltering conditions, though. As it happens, some members of the Miami Heat could, indeed, take the heat. Per Windhorst:
"It was right in my wheelhouse," Ray Allen said.
"I don't care. I'm from Texas, man. We couldn't afford air conditioning in high school," Chris Bosh said.
"It reminded me of the days at Cameron Indoor at Duke before they got AC," Shane Battier said.
To be fair, James wasn't without his share of sympathizers. "I don’t think I’ve played in anything like this since I left the islands," said Tim Duncan, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands (via The New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence). "It was pretty bad out there. It was definitely a factor. We were both worn out and tired. But we handled it well."
Even Danny Green, who exploded for 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter (11 while James was out with cramps), wasn't immune to the sauna-like conditions in the Alamo City, per CBS Sports:
And while Danny Green said he'd never seen anything like Game 1, and that the players definitely "felt it," the Spurs as a whole seemed nonplussed.
The conditions inside the Spurs' home arena shouldn't be an issue for either team in Game 2. According to Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin, the problems plaguing the A/C at the AT&T Center have been fixed.
That should come as welcome news to both teams, neither of which would probably want to spend another evening schvitzing on the bench.
Even though the Spurs handled the unusual circumstances just fine, thanks.
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