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Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to the TD Garden

The first evening of some live blogging from the TD Garden in Boston. Tonight, it's the nationally televised ESPN game featuring the Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics.

A few housekeeping items to begin.

Met up with a colleague from the basketball Hall of Fame pregame. Paul L. was taking in the game with his sons and drove in from Western Mass. We met up and discussed some hoops. I look forward to working with him again soon as we prepare for the Class of 2010 at the birthplace of basketball in Springfield, Mass.

On the way into the building this evening, one fan, clad in Celtics green had a posterboard sign, campaigning for a write in campaign to elect Brian Scalabrine to the Eastern Conference All Star team. (as a starter no less?) Scal is suited up tonight, but listed as day-to-day with back spasms. (Shouldn't it be night-to-night?) Anyhow, I didn't have it in my heart to ask the enthusiastic fan if he preferred Scalabrine as a starter over Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce or Lebron James in the annual classic?

A busy pre-game ritual complete with press room connections with Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Steve Holman, the radio voice of the Atlanta Hawks (who hails from Boston), Jim Stamos, doing courtside stats for ike Breen of ESPN, Willie Maye of the Celtics game night crew and WILD-Radio in Boston, Jeff Twiss and Heather Walker of the C's great PR staff and the esteemed Arthur Triche, the VP of PR for the Atlanta Hawks and -- like Jeff and Heather -- among the very best in the biz. I always take a second to thanks my colleagues in the PR world for their hard work and dedication to the game. Also, a nice catch-up with NBAE producer Dave Thomas.

I enjoy watching the Celtics in their pre-game intros. if you'll notice, KG has a routine all to his own, but his last step before tking the court is to bump knucks with J Twiss, then clean his shoes on the floor board, rip it up to be a new and sticky floor board, then hand the wrapping to his loyal PR guy. Home, road, reg season, playoffs, Finals - you name it. Watch the same routine. Prior to that, KG walks over to the basket stanchion and re-ties his basketball shorts so they are "just right" for the game, then he taps his head against the protective padding on the stanchion. I'm none too wild over that routine because once, in Europe, I saw a guy bang his head against the stanchion in a more angry protest and he caught his vertebral column and was paralyzed for the rest of his life. Be careful KG, and try to dream up another routine.

Lastly, after some Verizon wireless computer log-in problems which were my settings, not the Garden's - I switched over to the in-house press event system and we're in business. Looks likeanother trip to the Verizon wireless store for me.


Now, it's on to the game, where the Hawks jumped out to an impressive 24-22 first quarter lead. Only the Phoenix Suns, with 29 first quarter points on November 6, have scored more against the C's at the TD garden this season. The Suns went on to beat the Celtics that evening, 110-103 (213 total points). Aside from the 110 given up to the Suns, the highest point production against the Celtics this season has been 90 points by Chicago (10-30-09) and at Minnesota (11-04-09).

More to come from the second quarter...

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