An insider's look at the quintessentially American show enjoyed by all on hand Wednesday night at Palau Sant Jordi
The announced attendance of 16,236 meant the house was packed. Though many arrived late due to traffic constraints, their tickets were still worth the price of admission, with a non-stop show from tip-off to the final buzzer that was at its best when play was stopped.
Two former Barça players — ÀlexAbrines (6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in 15 minutes) and ErsanIlyasova (6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist in 17 minutes)— were back in town as members of the Thunder. Abrines, who signed with Oklahoma City in July after four seasons at Barça, attempted to ice the game with a long jumper in the final minute of play, but his shot was blocked by former teammate JoeyDorsey.
Barça shooting guard Juan Carlos Navarro and Abrines swapped jerseys after the game. Navarro (7 points, 2 assists in 15 minutes) put up similar numbers to his long-time teammate.
The NBA honoured a trio of former stars at halftime —two-time slam dunk champ Jason Richardson, 4-time NBA All-Star Shawn Marion, and 5-time NBA champ Ron Harper.
Three FC Barcelona footballers were in the house: Aleix Vidal, Paco Alcácer and Jordi Masip. So was FC Barcelona Board Member and Director of the Club’s New Technology Area, Dídac Lee.
Oklahoma City Thunder mascot, Rumble The Bison, was a workhorse throughout the night, helping deliver the true NBA experience to fans of all ages.
Former FC Barcelona striker, BojanKrkic, now with Stoke City in the English Premier League, was caught by the Kiss Cam. He was not to be denied, though, and received a warm peck from the lady by his side.