Yes Michael did make it to London. He tells me Wifi over in London is not the greatest. Might be something to figure out for the Olympics coming don't you think? There will be a lot more people in London for that event for sure. But Michael was able to get us his thoughts on his day and the game that night which the Raptor would eventually lose to the Nets:
After spending most of my Friday shopping at Portobello Road Market and Oxford street, I met up with two British Raptors fans prior to the game at The O2: Tom Hurley and Nat Jones, both currently from Manchester. Also Natasha Alibhai also quickly came by and we chatted some Raptors.
I then bought a Raptors t-shirt from the official store and was instantly wondering why they would sell Heat Jersey not from the Raptors (The answer is this is staged as more an NBA Event). Inside the arena, where I was sitting practically under the roof bur nonetheless had a good view, I was surprised at how equally the Nets and Raptors were presented throughout The O2. (Note on T.V it didn't sound like it)
The introductions were done equally and I have to admit, the Nets video was more impressive. The game itself started out a bit boring, not because of what happened on the floor but the crowd took a while to get into it. Speaking of the crowd, I think fans for both teams were about 50-50 with maybe a slight overhang towards the Raptors. At least in my block we were, including a boy who chanted DEFENCE whenever the Raptors were back.
I followed the game and since I'm a stats guy it was bad not having any working stats on the Jumbo screen until well into the second quarter. Hopefully they fixed that from the get go for tonight's game. The ending was not the best for Raptors fans as the Nets took over in the fourth. I have to admit though, I'm not that down about it as I had a GREAT time at my first ever NBA game. I saw so many things happening in between TV breaks, like Matt Devlin's bumping fists with every player during warm-ups. Or his constant peeks at several sheets in front of him. The contests and prizes were a bit too much for me but it let time fly by quicker, I guess.
I want to end by saying how impressed I was about the Raptor! He outperformed the Nets mascot on so many levels and involved the (lower bowl) crowd constantly. During a timeout he also had his fun with a security guard, dancing with the poor guy who tried his best to do his job without laughing like the guards at Buckingham Palace.
And by the way, even if the WiFi at The O2 had worked smoother, in-game tweeting is not really for me as I took everything in and tried to see as much as I could. Still, follow me @Euro4Raps and I'll try to do a better job for the second game, working WiFi permitting.
Thanks to Michael for checking in. Funny he mentions the Raptor I have said for years he is one of the best Mascots not just in the NBA but in all sports. Micheal didn't take this picture The Raptor tweeted it. He was busy on the streets as well in London check it out.
Because there really is not to much new to say, no DNB Preview of today's game but it does tip at 3pm and can been seen on Sportsnet 1 here in Canada. Glad to hear Micheal enjoyed his first live NBA game. That is what it is all about. This is a huge deal for fans in Europe. Matt mentioned on broadcast the amount of Raptor fans from so many different places he has met. oddest one for me was Sweden. Seems like everyone for the most part has had a good time.