Monday, May 21, 2007

Court Level

[Bumped w/update]

So a couple posts ago I mentioned the Cavs' court and how it was raised much higher than their benches.

I'm not sure everyone knew what I was talking about, so check out these videos. The first is from Game 5 in Cleveland and the second is from Game 6 in Jersey.

The benches in New Jersey are on the same level as the court, while Cleveland's benches are substantially lower.

This seems extremely risky to me; you're basically courting injuries in general and busted ankles specifically. Has the court been like that all season? Do other teams do this?

I already think that these guys have to deal with too much commotion by the court (with the courtside seats and the rows of photographers right underneath the basket) and I'm amazed more players aren't hurt.

Who knows, maybe that little step up is Cleveland's way of giving their players an extra reminder to stay on the bench during altercations.

[Update] copied from TrueHoop (emphasis added)
"I was watching the Cavs-Nets Game 5 and near the end of the game Jason Kidd and LeBron James dove after a loose ball near the Cavaliers bench," writes Benjamin Cox. "When Kidd slid on the ground, he actually fell off the court. What I mean is, Cleveland has its court raised up or at a different height level than their benches. You actually have to step up from the bench in oder to get on the court." The Akron Beacon-Journal's Brian Windhorst emails an explanation: "When they built the Q in 1994, they actually messed up the sight lines if you can believe it. People in the first rows could not see the player's feet. Part of this was the insistence of having courtside boxes, a relic from the old arena that they don't have anywhere else in the NBA. So they literally had to raise the court up about 10 inches. It has been that way for 12 years now. This year, actually, there was an entire new court built and its height above the concrete floor was lessened somewhat. There are other arenas in the NBA that have raised courts, but none to that degree and none where the bench is so much lower."
I have no idea how I've never noticed this, I've seen (and been to) countless of Cavs games at Gund Arena/The Q (and I still have the ticket from its opening night, with a picture of Brad Daugherty in a jersey he never wore) and Game 5 was the first time I noticed it.

But can I "believe" that they messed up the sight lines? I live in Cleveland, where our rivers catch fire and we can't even run a 10K without messing it up.

So yes, I can believe it.


Erik said...

Sounds like something you could e-mail to Brian Windhorst and see if he could get an answer from Cavs management.

If a lot of other teams have the bench seats on the actual playing surface and the Cavs don't, it does seem rather risky, especially if you have a superstar who carries the fortunes of the entire franchise on his shoulders entering and exiting (and crashing into) that bench.

Anonymous said...

the court has been like that for a while. back in 2003 i played there for my high school basketball team and i was kind of surprised about it as well

graham said...

I'm very surprised by this. I've noticed it before and it always seemed dangerous. I guess I'm surprised because you think this would've been brought up by players, coaches, front office, and/or Gilbert.

I just hope they fix for Bron breaks his ankle or tears his knee up.

Ben said...

I've never noticed this, especially if it's been around since 2003. This seems like an extremely bad idea.