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NBPA exec: Game 1 conditions 'unacceptable;' Thorn disagrees

By James Herbert | NBA writer

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The NBA Finals got going with a highly competitive, well-played game unfortunately marred by an air conditioning malfunction. The arena was extremely hot, and Miami Heat superstar LeBron James cramped up, unable to contribute like he wanted to in the fourth quarter. After the 110-95 San Antonio Spurs win, NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn met the media and said that the conditions on the court were safe, so the league never considered cancelling the game. He added that he expects the issue to be rectified by Sunday's Game 2.

“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."

NBPA acting executive director Ron Klempner, however, wasn't satisfied with how the situation was handled, via Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick:

It was a strange situation all around. Thorn's right in that players were not slipping and falling, and no one was seriously in danger. It's hard to argue that this didn't have any bearing on the game, though, as James cramping up was directly related to the air conditioning problem. Nonetheless, there's nothing that can be done now, aside from making sure that this doesn't happen again.

LeBron James cramps up in the fourth quarter of Game 1.
LeBron James cramps up in the fourth quarter of Game 1. (USATSI)

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