…and Luol Deng’s QB rating takes a hit. During and after my 5 + years residing in London, I’ve often been impressed with the amount of thoughtful, savvy coverage of American sports routinely found in the national newspapers. Richard Rae’s account of Tuesday’s Bulls / Jazz exhibition at the 02 Arena for The Independent, however, is not one of those instances.
Half the professional footballers in London were courtside, with Tottenham particularly well represented, but the Bulls started poorly, Luol Deng of all people giving up an immediate interception. Not that it really matters when you only have to blink to miss a score. By the end of the first quarter the score was 27-26 to the Bulls, there had been two time outs, during which the Utah dancers strutted their stuff, the hyperactive mascots “ a bull and something that looked like the wrath of God, but was apparently some sort of bear “ had thrown T-Shirts to the crowd and listened to cheesy tunes being belted out on an organ. When it played ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’, everybody did.
The entertainment in the break was even slicker. The Jazz Dunk team rolled out a couple of springboards and performed a series of such remarkably gymnastic, well, dunks, you had to watch the replays to believe your eyes hadn’t deceived you.
The game, when it resumed, felt like a distraction. At the next time-out, a lad called Edward shot so many long baskets he won a trip to New York. He walked off wearing a smile and a Utah dancer on his arm.
The points kept coming, and so did the gimmicks. ‘Disco cam’, picking out whichever sap in the stands happened to be gyrating most ridiculously at the time. It was chaos, but even chaos can have a pattern, and the pattern was on the scoreboard, high above the court.