LeBron James is helped by teammates and coach Erik Spoelstra after experiencing cramps. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Much has been made about the conditions of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, when the air conditioning went out in the AT&T Center leaving many people uncomfortable and Heat forward LeBron James unable to finish the game due to cramps.
Ron Klempner, the acting executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, said the conditions were unsuitable for the game.
“The playing conditions for tonight’s game were completely unacceptable from the opening tip,” Klempner said in a text message to Bloomberg News. “In a situation like this, there needs to be more open communication before a decision is made that could potentially place players at risk."
NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn disagreed with Klempner's assessment saying that the playing conditions were safe.
“In live sporting events, sometimes things transpire that you don't expect," Thorn said. “Obviously, you would like to have the air conditioner where it normally is and play the game under those conditions, but tonight, you know, it wasn't like that. The game continued and the game was played."
The Spurs said that the "AC system has been tested, is fully operational and will continue to be monitored," and upcoming events at the arena will go on as scheduled. Game 2 of the NBA Finals is Sunday night.
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The Spurs won Game 1 110-95, led by Tim Duncan's 21 points and 10 rebounds. James, on the other hand, was on the bench at the end of the game. He led all scorers with 25 points in 33 minutes.
“I lost all the fluids that I was putting in in the last couple of days out there on the floor,” James said. “It was an unusual circumstance, I never played in a building like that. It’s been a while, like high school.”
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