justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Boring Baloncesto

Because up-to-the-second sports updates are for suckers, here is a recount from a meaningless game I went to 40 days ago. Yes, Ricky Rubio used to play for this team, he doesn't any more, but his picture is still better than anything I shot from the game.

Upon walking into the Palau Blaugrana, a badly dated stadium that sits in the shadows of the gigantic football stadium Camp Nou, you get the feeling that even though the basketball club, and every sport under the FCB umbrella, share the mantra "Mes Que Un Club;" really they're all a bit more "Menos Que Un Club" in comparison to the one that counts Leo Messi as its star.

But I'm a basketball fan first and living on a tight budget as well, so it made sense to see a basketball game, before I dove into the madness of FC Barcelona soccer/fútbol/futbol. This is despite the fact that the biggest star currently on the FCB basketball roster is Juan Carlos Navarro. The man spent just one year in the NBA playing for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008, where he averaged 10.9 points and some other boring stats. But more importantly it was there that he played under Marc Iavaroni, whose son once jammed out in high school guitar sessions with my friend Sep. Boom! Five degrees of separation.

Unfortunately I wouldn’t get to see Juan Carlos as he was sitting the game out because the Liga-leading FCB were playing the league's shittiest team, UCAM Murcia (as of today they're 17th in the 18-team league).

I bought the cheapest ticket figuring I'd be able to upgrade my seat once I got in, but the Catalans are crafty I tell ya, and I was sat in a section that was separated by a 20-foot jump from the rest of the stadium. My seat was directly next to Sang Culé, one of two crazed fan sections loaded with flags, drums, and people who gave much more of a shit about the game than everyone else in the stadium.

The game itself was wildly boring. UCAM Murcia kept it close for the first five minutes before FCB’s B-squad began blowing them out. The only player on FCB who was fun to watch was CJ Wallace, not Biggie’s kid, but rather an anglo-looking dude who went to Princeton. He was the only American on the team, and appropriately enough, he was the only one to be wearing a silly arm sleeve. The only other thing of note for the game was that FCB’s roster includes Boniface N’Dong, which I guess is kinda funny.

FCB lead by 40+ for most of the game. I tried talking to this guy next to me about the team and basketball in Barcelona. The guy was more concerned with telling me about the time his 14-year-old son made six consecutive threes for his high school. And honestly that tale was much more exciting than anything we saw on the court that night.