Saturday, 17 October 2015

Hockey Ruins An NBA Game

Rarely do I mention the NBA, let alone basketball, on this blog. Aside from mentioning teams that share arenas with hockey teams, I'd say there may be less than a dozen mentions of basketball on this blog despite it being invented by a Canadian. However, as I watched the sports highlights tonight after spending the day at my local university working for the sports department, I was shocked to see that an NBA game was affected by hockey as the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors had to call off their game thanks, in part, to the AHL's San Diego Gulls!

Here are the highlights of the Lakers and Warriors playing a preseason game in San Diego at the Valley View Casino Center, the home of the AHL's San Diego Gulls. Watch the number of times that the players slip on the floor.
Clearly, there's nothing safe about the floor when it comes to basketball players making cuts and stops on that floor. I'll give credit to the cleaning staff around the court who were meticulous on trying to keep the floor clear of the water or frost on the floor, but the Lakers and Warriors would call the game midway through the third quarter due to the unplayable court surfance. So what exactly was happening with this floor? Well, the warmth in the arena air from the basketball game was causing frost to form on the floor!

If a solid surface is chilled below the dew point of the surrounding humid air and the surface itself is colder than freezing, ice will form on it. With the ice surface below the basketball court, the floor would be a cooler temperature than the air above it. With the warmer air above the floor, the warm air can hold more humidity and, in turn, would turn to frost when it comes in contact with the cold basketball floor. Additionally, with the warmed in the arena, the melting ice would cause the humidity in the air below the floor to rise and any contact with the colder floor above it would also produce frost. The result was the basketball players looking they needed skates as opposed to shoes to play on sections of that floor.

Being that this is the first season of AHL hockey at the Valley View Casino Center, I'm not surprised that they aren't exactly experts in switching the rink from an AHL game to an NBA game, but I'm sure they'll learn quickly if they hope to host more NBA preseason games in the future. They may want to call their AHL brethren in Cleveland, San Antonio, or Milwaukee to find out how to switch the arena from AHL to NBA because those three cities have both an AHL and NBA team.

The important thing? No NBA players were injured due to hockey. In the end, though, hockey will never succumb to basketball's wishes to play upon its ice surfaces.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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