Draymond Green: Potential MSU-Gonzaga Game Should Be Indoors, Not on Aircraft Carrier

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 15, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors talks with media during a press conference after the 104-94 win against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 13, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Gonzaga and Michigan State men's basketball teams are in "advanced discussions" to play a Veterans Day game on a San Diego aircraft carrier, per Jon Rothstein of FanDuel, but Golden State Warriors forward and ex-Spartans star Draymond Green doesn't think the game should be played outdoors.

Draymond Green @Money23Green

This is tragic. Give the veterans a game inside a gym. Makes for much better and safer basketball. Playing in that game was incredible for the meaning, but the game was awful. <a href="https://t.co/uez2FTSoFd">https://t.co/uez2FTSoFd</a>

On Nov. 11, 2011, Green and the Spartans played North Carolina aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the first-ever Carrier Classic. UNC won 67-55.

Court conditions were a serious problem. Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports relayed the issues a year after the game:

"Each time a player dove after a loose ball and left a trail of sweat on the court, [ball boy Kyle] Kriebel would race out, towel or mop in hand, and attempt to wipe up the wet spot. The moisture in the air at dusk on the San Diego harbor made the task so pointless that President Obama even joked with Kriebel from his courtside seat that he had missed a few spots."

"We were out there wiping and wiping, but it was pointless," Kriebel told Eisenberg. "Eventually we just did it to look busy. No matter what we did, we couldn't get the moisture off the court."

As Eisenberg noted, other attempts to play aboard vessels have not gone particularly well. In November 2012, Ohio State-Marquette was canceled and Florida-Georgetown was called off at halftime because of court conditions.

In another game then, San Diego State shot 1-of-18 from three-point range and 14-of-33 at the foul line in windy conditions against Syracuse.

Still, it appears Gonzaga and Michigan State will take a crack at playing on an aircraft carrier. The matchup would feature two of the sport's blue-blood programs, as the Bulldogs entered the NCAA men's tournament as the No. 1 overall seed last year and the Spartans have long been a contender under coach Tom Izzo.