My stadium wish list tour continues to the National Basketball Association.
The NBA is home to two of the most famous arenas in sports – Staples Center and Madison Square Garden.
With NBA free agency reaching an all-time high, this is a perfect time to detail the five arenas that I want to take in a game at the most.
Air Canada Centre, Toronto Raptors
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City Thunder
Moda Center, Portland Trail Blazers
Staples Center, Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte Hornets
5. AT&T Center, San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio, Texas may not be the favorite destination spot of Stephen A. Smith, but the Spurs AT&T Center is certainly a place I would like to visit.
The Spurs have been one of the most successful franchises in the NBA for the last 20 years.
For their success, they also have one of the most loyal fan bases in the league, and they don’t want a lot of bandwagon fans either. Maybe that’s the reason San Antonio’s home arena is among the smallest in crowd capacity in the NBA.
My only knock against going to a Spurs home game, or any game they’re playing in, is that head coach Greg Popovich may decide to use that game to rest his star players, especially if that game is on national TV.
I definitely want to go to a game in San Antonio, I’m just going to have to chose wisely.
4. Oracle Arena, Golden State Warriors
Nothing makes a crowd rise to its feet quite like an onslaught of three pointers, especially when multiple are strung together in quick succession that takes a one-possession game to one separated by ten points or more.
That’s why Golden State Warrior fans are the loudest in the NBA.
The Oracle is the oldest arena currently in use, however, it won’t be around much longer as the team has plans to move to a new location for the 2019 season.
Hopefully I can join the sea of gold in the stands at the team’s current location while it’s still around.
3. TD Garden, Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are arguably the most successful franchise in NBA history, and although they have only brought one championship to their current home arena, TD Garden should certainly be on sports fans’ lists of places to visit.
Naturally, it’s the product on the floor that draws most people to Celtic games.
But a good reason to go is the floor itself.
Boston is one of just two teams in the NBA that currently uses the parquet floor court design. It’s classic.
Earlier this year Sports Illustrated voted the Celtics home floor as the third-best home court design in the NBA.
2. American Airlines Arena, Miami Heat
I have to admit, part of what draws me to American Airlines Arena is the design of the seats; the wave of colors you see before games when the stands are empty.
Another thing that makes attending a Miami Heat home game desirable to go to is when the team wears its “White Hot” jerseys and have all their fans wear white. It looks amazing.
One other aspect of Heat games, which has been relevant since 2003, may soon be leaving South Beach, and that is Dwyane Wade.
I got the opportunity to see Wade and company play against the Wizards in DC this past season, but I would absolutely love to see Wade play a game in Miami, especially with Pat Riley setting behind the bench.
1. Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks
It’s the most famous arena in all of sports.
I’d be dumb not to put it No. 1.
Madison Square Garden has played host to NBA games since 1968, and has also been the site of St. John’s basketball games, the Big East Tournament and other NCAA men’s tournament games, as well as boxing matches, hockey and other sports spectacles in the 48 years since it first opened its doors.
I have been inside the entrance to MSG once – no one was playing so security wouldn’t let us go around to see the court – but what I did see was great.
My favorite part was that all along the floor are plaques of the names of all the greats that have performed at The Garden.
There’s got to be a reason Spike Lee keeps coming back for games, and it can’t be all about the Knicks right? I’m sure The Garden has something to do with it.