Behind the scenes in San Antonio, Nuggets get tough road win

Nov 8, 2022, 3:13 PM
Keldon Johnson, Nikola Jokic...
Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

I jaunted to AT&T Center on Monday night for the road half of the Nuggets-Spurs home-and-home and it was a really cool experience!

I have been lucky to go to many NHL, MLB, NCAA and other stadiums, but I had only seen NBA games live in two locations: Denver and Chicago. The game night experience in San Antonio was awesome; the Spurs have a rich history despite their recent struggles and were even celebrating the legendary George Gervin. It’s also really cool to go to a stadium built for hoops, as the Spurs do not share their arena with a hockey team—so the sightlines were great. And that wasn’t just my thoughts; that was my brother and dad’s opinion too—also going to their first Spurs game.

Seeing one of your favorite teams on the road is like seeing one of your favorite bands play an acoustic set. The Nuggets are stripped down to little more than a generic high school locker room; they don’t have the comforts they’re accustomed to, and there’s less loudness. There’s no “Nuggets for one, two, threeeee” or “yeahhhhh Bizzy Bones baby!!!’

The Nuggets obviously don’t have their cheerleaders, which leads to players bringing their own energy. Denver’s best hype person down the stretch in the win was actually Michael Porter Jr. The forward had a really strong game but was subbed out for defense. Instead of being down about riding the pine, MPJ’s encouragement was noticeable as Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray carried the Nuggets late.

The more intimate setting for the Nuggets players, leads to some good conversations as a reporter. With less lights, guys are more prone to be themselves, Murray joked to me and two other reporters after the game about Michael Malone calling them PB&J.

The best part about the Spurs’ stadium was the in-house food. They had a normal Whataburger that took one second to get food at during the second quarter. If not the fast-food chain, the other options were supplied by Levy Restaurants, which makes the options at Ball Arena look like nothing.

The staff in Texas was very nice. And the in-arena gameday entertainment was pretty enjoyable.

One thing I didn’t like about the Spurs’ joint was how far from downtown it is, with no real things to do around the stadium. The arena is just in a sea of parking lots and warehouses next to another area I think for the stock show. It makes me appreciate how center Ball Arena is located with so many things just a quick walk away.

Texas has it’s pluses and minuses, I got to check out some cool stuff in hill country while the Broncos were on bye Sunday, and I do always recommend making a trip of one of your favorite team’s road games. It gets even better if you can find a concert you like in town a night before or after as well.


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Behind the scenes in San Antonio, Nuggets get tough road win