Wiz Beat Writer Calls Wiz’ Arena ‘Pathetic’

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The Gilbert and Caron-less Wiz had a mixed bag this weekend, winning at Toronto and losing to Charlotte to remain sixth in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, but that’s not what this is about. This is about Washington Post Wizards beat writer Ivan Carter’s blog post following the Raptors game:

“It is games like last night’s when the difference most NBA arenas and the VC is shocking. The fans here in [Toronto] were nuts during the second half … and didn’t need piped in sound or goofy promotions to make noise. It was pure, honest to goodness enthusiasm. Or a whole lot of Molsons, whatever …

[Eddie] Jordan on the Air Canada Centre, where the Wiz had lost four straight: “It’s a great environment to play. This crowd gets into it man and you’re really at a disadvantage if you don’t have the confidence and the veteran poise to get through it.”

In three years covering the Wizards, I’ve never heard an opposing coach or player said that about Verizon Center, which too often resembles the gym in Vegas during summer league. At the VC, the staff has to put up a Duke logo or picture of the Dallas Cowboys to get fans to make noise. Pathetic.

I’ve been to many a Wiz game and thought the same thing, but isn’t that the norm in the NBA? It’s great that Toronto “gets into it,” but how many arenas are known for having intense, enthusiastic fans, especially in the 82 game regular season? Golden State’s the only one that comes to mind, and that may be the biggest reason why so many fans prefer the college game.

That said, I’ve only been to NBA games in D.C. If you, like I-Dot Carter, have been around the league, please inform as to whether the atmosphere in other arenas is more like the one Toronto is lauded for having or the one that’s maligned here in Washington. Obviously, I’m going with the latter.

8 thoughts on “Wiz Beat Writer Calls Wiz’ Arena ‘Pathetic’”

  1. The only two NBA arenas I have been to are the (then) MCI Center (haven’t been back since 2000), and Staples Center. I would compare the the regular season games at Staples favorably to anything I’ve seen in DC, but since the Wizards/Bullets were never in the playoffs when I was around, I can’t compare playoff crowds. I went to the Lakers-Suns playoff series two years ago, and it was incredible — an impressive pre-game spectacle (no surprise that they do theatrics well in LA), and the crowd was crazy and loud the entire game. That’s my west coast report…

  2. Chris, how does Charlotte’s atmosphere compare to D.C.’s? Aside from that Rufus on Fire guy, I gotta think the two are pretty similar.

    Coach, yeah, playoffs are a different story. I was in the nosebleeds for Wiz-Cavs two years ago and it was a good crowd. Not “incredible,” but good.

  3. The last time I went to a Wiz game, I left sometime in the third quarter to go do something fun.

    As for Charlotte’ atmosphere, I’d say it’s quite similar. Kiss Cam is probably the most exciting part of the game. Although I’ve only viewed the action from the luxury suite (no big deal), so I managed to enjoy myself.

  4. I hear that it can get loud in Dallas….and people seem to be crazy for the Rockets in Houston.

    Out in Sac-Town, they used to get rowdy.

    I’m sure the crowds are hype in Boston this year….and Utah fans are good.

    Not sure about San Antonio.

    But after that, yes, you might struggle to find a college basketball-like atmosphere, much less foreign pro-basketball, in the NBA.

  5. the fans are crazy in phoenix. the place does a lot to get the crowd into it and ced ceballos rocks the shit as mc.

  6. I’ve been to half a dozen Hornets games in the last couple of weeks. They’ve ranged from pretty quiet (against the Wiz) to loud as all holy hell (against the Suns). It really all depended on how many people were in attendance but even during sellouts, the crowd took its cues from the PA

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