It’s official, one of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen is taking to the court for the last time this season. In April the Staples Center in Los Angeles will play host to Kobe Bryant’s final game, and there will undoubtedly be millions of people tuning in just to catch a glimpse of the action. In the meantime there are basketball fans stumbling over themselves to secure tickets to see a true legend of the sport, and if you’re one of the lucky ones who will be travelling to stadiums in places like Texas, Arizona, California and more then you’ll want to make it the trip of a lifetime. Here are some things to remember in order to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
We’ve witnessed some great series and some surprising performances, and now we’re down to four teams battling for the NBA championship. The Houston Rockets will visit the Golden State Warriors tonight to kick of the Western Conference Finals, and tomorrow night the Cleveland Cavaliers will visit the Atlanta Hawks for the start of the Eastern Conference Finals.
From the moment Lebron James announced he would be leaving Miami and returning home to Cleveland, we all knew this team had a chance to compete for a title. Still, few could have predicted the ups and down and all of the drama that this team would go through over a long season and then the first two rounds of the playoffs. All year long, Kevin Love had some issues as he adjusted to being the third option in Cleveland’s Big Three. Still, he was a critical piece of the puzzle, and losing him for the season as the result of a bush-league foul in Boston was a cruel blow to this franchise.
Kia offered us the opportunity to see two NBA playoff games between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls, with the road trip from Cleveland to Chicago in the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento sandwiched in between. Naturally we said yes and needless to say it was quite an adventure! (Read more about our impressions of the Kia Sorento here).
It all got started in Cleveland will some amazing floor seats just behind the Cavs bench. Right away we had a buzz-worthy story as Lebron was introduced wearing his signature headband which he had discarded earlier this season. But after a game one thrashing at the hands of the Bulls, Lebron felt the need to go back to the headband to revive his game, which seemed silly in many ways until the game started and the Cavs jumped out to an early lead.
As a Cavs fan the entire experience was pretty amazing. It started as I checked in to the Hyatt located in the historic Arcade in downtown Cleveland.
Image courtesy of Bill Brine via Flickr
May is here, finally, and the sports calendar is starting to really get packed with plenty of options for the die-hard sports fan. But for you couch potatoes out there, today offers so many options you could spend the whole day lounging around with your beer and Fritos as you enjoy some of your favorite sports and sporting events. We have THE classic horse race, day 3 of the NFL draft, a potentially epic game 7 in the NBA playoffs and the rare occurrence of a boxing fight that everyone is talking about.
Horse racing may be dying a slow death, but the Kentucky Derby always gets everyone excited again, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If you ever get the opportunity to go the Churchill Downs, make sure you take advantage of it. You love the race and all the southern belles all deck out in their sundresses and pretty hats. But naturally you can enjoy this on your couch as well. You can even mix yourself a special drink like The Grandstand Julip featured this week by Bob Westal.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, as the race doesn’t go off until 6:24 PM EST and most of us won’t be wasting our time with the hours of pre-race hype.
As we watched the San Antonio Spurs demolish the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals last season, few could have predicted how that result would lead to a demolition of the Heat roster as well. But we all know now that Lebron had been thinking of returning to Cleveland for years, but this loss in the Finals led to his decision to leave Miami in the offseason. Had the Heat won, there’s no way Lebron would have passed on the chance to win four titles in a row. He probably would have ended up back in Cleveland eventually, just not this year.
Lebron’s Decision 2.0 had a ripple effect around the league, with Carmelo deciding to stay in New York and Kevin Love ending up in Cleveland to form a new Big Three with Lebron and Kyrie Irving. Lebron has established himself as the most powerful man in basketball in additional to being the world’s best player. But as usual he’s playing for much more – his legacy. Bringing a title to Cleveland would be a huge achievement for him personally, but it would also represent another star on his resume as he tries to break out of Michael Jordan’s long shadow.