When you walk the halls of AmericanAirlines Arena during the NBA Finals, it’s easy to get lost. There are signs pointing you to press conference rooms, new pipe and drape sectioning off the dining area, and lots and lots and LOTS of members of the media. The amount of reporters and cameras in the locker rooms has grown exponentially, with players barely able to get to their stalls to dress. If you are claustrophobic, this is not the job for you.
|Media watching open practice prior to Game 2.|
Practices are a different animal in the Finals as well. During the regular season, the players practice, and then the media is allowed in at the end to speak to the teams. But during the NBA Finals, the last 30 minutes is open for the reporters and cameras to watch. Usually the 2-3 most sought after athletes will go to the podium, and the rest of the team is fair game. There are stations set up around the court with a mic and blue NBA Finals backdrop. Getting a question in though isn’t easy. Check out the scene below as the media is trying to listen in to San Antonio Spurs swingman Manu Ginobli.
A reporter from the Philippines, TJ Manotoc Jr., who is covering the Erik Spoelstra angle of the Finals, said “It’s like a flea market! You just hope and hold your breath hoping when you raise your hand you will get to ask a question. And out here (pointing to the court) you have to fight your way in. Sometimes I have to jump to see who’s talking!”
|Lebron throwing up half court shots amidst droves of reporters and photographers.|
The 2013 NBA Finals are being broadcast to 215 countries in 47 different languages this year. There are over 310 members of the media converging on Miami and San Antonio from 34 different countries. Why so much international interest? Well…to start…the San Antonio Spurs have a record 9 players on their roster from international descent. Also, as a German reporter Dean Walle from Sport 1 pointed out, professional basketball is quickly becoming the 2nd most important sport in his country, behind football. Soccer to us Americans.
|Me & Jason Jackson working our 4th NBA Finals together.|