Paul Niswander is a man with connections. One of the many cool people he is friends is a man by the name of Dennis who just happens to be the radio announcer of the Orlando Magic. Way back in September, Paul hit Dennis up for Magic/Heat tickets, hoping we could go to one of them together. We never heard back and assumed we would not get to go. On Tuesday, Feb 1, Paul gets a call from Dennis asking him if we were coming to the game, which was on Thursday. We were shocked and more than a little excited. We took a few hours to debate whether or not we were willing to spend the money for last minute flights (we were hoping to know well in advance and get cheap tickets) and then decided a memory like this is worth the money. Plus, the last minute nature of our adventure added excitement.
Thursday morning we woke up at 5 am and Abby drove us to the airport. We had a connection through Charlotte (where Paul had his very first Jamba Juice) and landed in Orlando at 11:30 am. We to downtown Orlando around 4pm and walked around for a while. We got to bless a homeless man named Billy with a hot meal, had dinner together, and then went inside the arena. The new Amway Arena is ridiculous! It is the newest and nicest arena in the NBA.
We saw Lebron take some practice free throw shots. He was super intense and focused. When both teams came out to warm up, it was pretty cool. Lots of dunking and a few trick shots. The introductions were insane! My favorite part was when Dwight Howard spoofed Lebron's old Cavaliers skit and pretended to take a photo with his team. Hilarious.
Below: Lebron's pre-game powder toss.
The game itself wasn't as exciting because the Heat lead the entire game, so the energy in the place was low. We saw a few dunks by Dwight, including a sick 180 dunk. Dwyane Wade also had a ridiculous block on Howard and then took it coast-to-coast. The most incredible part of the game was Lebron James. The dude was a machine. His stat line was 17-25 for 51 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. He embarrassed Hedo Turkolu and I didn't miss a shot the entire first quarter. In the 4th quarter, as Orlando was making a comeback and got within 6, Lebron took the ball down the court, stared down his defender, and nailed a three. He casually turned around and just walked down the court. What a dagger.
It was a good time and I am so glad we went. A trip I will remember forever.