Conspiracy theories of NBA Finals 2014 Game 1: Sabotaged? San Antonio vs Miami Heat

Gabriela Ortega
is a Blogger/ Researcher in the Philippines

There is a lot of talk about the air conditioning malfunction in Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals. After the air conditioning unit failed in Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, fans waved folded programs in an effort to stay cool and players draped cold towels on their heads on the bench. Lebron James had to be subbed several times in the second half and left the fourth quarter of a close game due to cramping. Spurs capitalized James absence and went on a run which turned an 86-84 deficit into a a 110-95 win.



There is also a lot of speculation about conspiracy and sabotage about the ac failure, some saying alout that it was not accidental. Here are the top reasons and theories being gossiped, rumored and talked about:


1. No backup solution or air conditioning source? – Why was the AT&T Center of San Antonio unable to fix power outage or electrical problems or “circuit breaker” problem or delay the game for some more time to fix it (there was also halftime break, which could’ve been extended to fix it)? – Why was there no backup solution? This is the NBA Finals, there should have been preparations and precautions made. If this were a regular season game, it might have been excused, but this is the NBA Finals being telecast worldwide seen by millions of people all over the world. This is not a small regional league, or Asian or European league or a local league or high school game, or neighborhood streetball, neighborhood youth center. This is the global stage viewed by millions, where world class standards, facilities and preparation are expected by millions of viewers and fans all over the world.


2. NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn’s vague and evasive explanation.


- NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn spoke with the media after the game and downplayed the effect of the incident. Rod Thorn said: "In live sporting events, you know, sometimes you're going to have things transpire. I can recall playing in games in Boston Garden.” Rod Thorn played in the NBA between 1963 to 1971. So that was more than 40 years ago. But he may also be referring to the Los Angeles versus Boston Finals game in Boston Garden in 1985. But that was in 1985, almost 30 years ago… Shouldn’t technological improvements and advancements today allow us to handle electrical problems like this much better than 30 years ago?


- He also mentioned recent live sporting events, apparently alluding to the power outage in the 2013 NFL Super Bowl between Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. But that electrical outage was fixed in 34 minutes. Couldn’t the airconditioning problem have been fixed during the NBA Finals game 1 or have the game stopped for some time to have it fixed (including during halftime)?


- Rod Thorn also said that no players complained, but a mic’d-up James was heard in after the first timeout describing Dwayne Wade: “He looks like he played the whole game already.” He was also heard saying on the ABC broadcast. “They’re trying to smoke us out of here.”


- Rod Thorn also said: “"We do not foresee any problems at all come Sunday (Game 2). We think it will be fixed come Sunday and we will be able to play under normal conditions." So they are not sure if it will be fixed by Game 2?



3. Lebron has history of cramps – Everyone knows that Lebron James has a history of cramping in warm arenas, as what happened in the playoffs 2012. This knowledge of Lebron's kryptonite or weakness furthers the conspiracy theory.


4. Unequal conditions for both teams - Contrary to observation that the warm temperature caused by a/c outage affected both San Antonio and Miami, Danny Green says Spurs had cooling fans in their locker room at halftime, while Heat did not have them. Shouldn't both teams be on the same competitive field?



5. Hot temperature and dehydration negatively affects Miami more than San Antonio - The Spurs' bench is a lot deeper and superior to the Miami Heat's, and the Spurs top players play far fewer minutes than the Miami Heat’s Big 3.



6. Spurs' best players had international experience with tough environments. The Spurs players themselves said after the game that they had more experience playing in tough environments. For example:


Tony Parker: “Me personally, it didn't bother me, [it] felt like in Europe. Felt like I was playing in the European championship. We never have AC in Europe, so it didn't bother me at all.


Manu Ginobili, from Argentina: “And for sure I play more years in situations like this than with AC on the court. Not a big deal in that case.”



7. Greg Poppovich’s U.S. military intelligence background – Although a lot of people respect and admire San Antonio coach Greg Poppovich, there is a lot of talk that he graduated from the United States Air force Academy, with a degree in Soviet Studies, and he underwent Air Force intelligence gathering and process training. He even considered a career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). There is also rumor that he was an American spy in Russia.



7. Not the first time - Jason Terry told a local Dallas radio station that the air conditioning going out in Game 1 vs. the Heat in San Antonio might not have been accidental.


“You know what, Pop [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] has done that so many times. I don't know if it's a conspiracy, but I'm telling you, going into San Antonio is a tough place to play,” Terry said.


“And I can remember very well one time where it was cold showers, there were about a thousand flies in the locker room. This year, there was a snake in the locker room. So, they're going to pull out all the stops to get into your head."


“When you go to San Antonio, expect something like that. And Miami fell victim to it."


The outspoken guard said he remembered games when the Mavs thought the Spurs had the heat turned up on them.


"Oh, no question,” Terry said. “For an event of that magnitude, to say that the AT&T Center's air-conditioning is not working -- there's definitely something wrong with that."

Anyone with any other theories out there?


 

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