Top Hoops Bucket List Events In 2014
January 9, 2014
Hoops fans don’t need any translation. They know what these terms mean:
King James. The Mecca of Basketball. The Black Super Bowl. March Madness.
For hoops fans, seeing the king hold court or to take a pilgrimage to The Mecca is on the Bucket List, so it has to be done. It’s a must.
2014 is upon us. Time to get it done.
This list provides some obvious choices for Best Basketball Trips Ever. But there are a few ideas you haven’t given much thought, or a couple angles that may make your travel plans more intriguing.
So enjoy this list. And to make any of these happen, feel free to call 1-877-959-4699 or email email@example.com to get you started.
Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks on January 9 at MSG and Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets on January 10 at Barclays Center
First, Lebron is the best player on the planet. So it’s always a pleasure to watch him in action. Second, since both the Knicks and Nets are struggling, the ticket prices have dipped a little. Third, the Heat aren’t in the Big Apple after Feb. 1, which pits them against the Knicks on Super Bowl weekend – a ticket in high demand regardless of how Melo and Company are playing. So the best value to see King James live in New York would be this weekend.
Note: The Heat play Michael Carter-Williams and the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on January 17 as well.
Syracuse vs. Duke at Carrier Dome on February 1 and Duke vs. Syracuse at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 22.
Changes in conference alignment and the draw of fast pro money has changed the college hoops landscape quite a bit. No more Big East Tournament getting the region hyped to go to The Garden to see Georgetown, Syracuse, Villanova and others knock each other out. No more superstar college player staying for a few years, competing against your favorite school multiple times.
But now you have a new set of rivalries in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Now you can see schools clash for the first time as conference foes. And these schools have stars who are just freshman, which means before you blink they will be fitting on hats at the 2014 NBA Draft. You gotta see them this semester.
The best 2014 ACC matchup may be the Duke Blue Devils, starring the very talented big man Jabari Parker, taking on new rival Syracuse, led by Central New York’s favorite Canadian Tyler Ennis. Both are top ranked. Both have huge fan bases with great buildings to enjoy a unique college hoops experience. Both are playing as ACC rivals for the first time. So whether you shell out the cash to squeeze in with the Cameron Crazies or sit in a football stadium with 30,000 people to see this, it should be awesome!
NBA All Star Games Weekend at New Orleans Arena – February 14-16, 2014
Ah yes, the Black Super Bowl.
NBA All Star Game Weekend is the ultimate people-watching, rapper-spotting, velvet-rope-waiting-for-over-priced-nightclub-entrance event in sports. There are NBA-sanctioned events for fans – like fan zone-type events or the Saturday night slam dunk and 3-point contests. But the unsanctioned stuff going on is the fun thing to navigate – and the frustrating thing to navigate at the same time.
And this year the All Star Game is in The Big Easy! Even better! You’ve got the French Quarter, the local food, Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam shows at Saenger Theatre – lots to do even before you decide to check out the Rising Stars Challenge or something. It might be a reach but R. Kelly and Boyz II Men are performing that week as well in Baton Rouge, about an hour and a half away. Great hoops with good options in between.
NCAA 2014 Men’s Final Four at AT&T Stadium – April 5-7
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones can’t get his football team into the playoffs, but he’s getting a big payoff from the NCAA. His huge stadium will host the Final Four this spring and will host college football’s first national championship tournament final in 2015.
This year’s Final Four should be a great value because it’s in a cool city like Dallas and it’s going to be played in a football stadium with tons of seats. So that means you might get a ticket for hundreds of bucks (if you don’t mind watching the game down there on the huge center-hung Diamond Vision screen up here).
NBA Eastern Conference Finals – approximately May 20-June 1
This is an underrated idea in our view. It’s highly likely the Miami Heat and Paul George’s Indiana Pacers will clash in the conference finals. For a hoops fan, this match up satisfies any hoops palate. If you want the South Beach nightlife and the be-seen atmosphere of American Airlines Arena for a playoff game, you pay the higher premium and go to Miami.
However, you could go to Indianapolis instead to see a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse — arguably the best arena for basketball viewing in the league — and see the Heat on the road against a great Pacers club in a city that will be less expensive and more manageable to navigate. Simply put, if you prefer cheap beer or visiting the NCAA Hall of Champions over a nightclub, you go to Indy.
2014 FIBA World Cup Basketball Final at Palacio de las Deportes de la Comunidad – September 14
Some of the best players in the world playing for their country in Madrid, Spain. AFter the early rounds settle in other towns, you could enjoy a solid mix of NBA superstars likely with a match up to include USA, Spain, Germany, France, Argentina or the Philippines (kidding) playing in the final.
Madrid is a wonderful international city with lots to do. So hoops could be just a part of your visit for sure.
Fall 2014 match ups to consider: Maui Invitational at Lahaina Civic Center – November 24-26; 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden – November 2014; NBA games – various locations TBD – December 25.