Jamie McDonald

NBA in London: Pistons trounced by Knicks at O2 Arena

Nearly 4,000 miles and an ocean away from the Palace of Auburn Hills, the Pistons lost a "home" game to the Knicks, 102-87, at London's O2 Arena.

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Video: Austin Daye clotheslines Tyson Chandler

One of the most memorable moments from Thursday's loss to the Knicks was Austin Daye's flagrant clothesline foul on Tyson Chandler. It looked bad -- mostly because Chandler's awkward fall -- but Daye maintains there was no ill-intent, adding that he tried to apologize immediately after the fall. From MLive's David Mayo:

"I wanted to but the refs backed me up," Daye said. "I wanted to make sure he was OK but the refs wanted to make sure there was no hassle at all."

The two have known each other for years, Daye said, dating to when Chandler was a high school star at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., and Daye was growing up in Los Angeles.

"He's my friend," Daye said. "I've known him forever. I've known Tyson since he was in high school and I was a little kid. He knows I wouldn't try to hurt him."


Not everyone had fun watching Pistons vs. Knicks

It's not as interesting as the report from our fan in the stands, but Oliver Brown of the Daily Telegraph (hat-tip: @patrick_hayes) wrote an amusing column on the NBA experience -- and in particular, the non-stop effort to distract the crowd form the actual game:

The attention deficit of a basketball crowd is such that even the game itself has to proceed against an extraneous soundtrack of jaunty accordion music.

Not that this appeared to bother the Premier League's delegation of fair-weather hoops fans, led by Tim Howard, Patrick Vieira and Shaun Wright-Phillips, all of them apparently so enraptured with the hyperactive spectacle that they forgot to notice the fearful trouncing administered to the Detroit Pistons.

It is familiar, this disorientating effect. We British like our sport served up with a breathless intensity, but the Pistons' 102-87 defeat on Thursday night to the New York Knicks came layered with such incessant interruptions that all but the most ardent aficionados swiftly lost touch with the balance of play. Carmelo Anthony's metronomic free-throws for the Knicks were all very well, but they became almost incidental as the audience's eyes wandered to gyrating cheerleaders and the Pistons' donkey mascot bashing an oversized drum.

[...] Those Arsenal aristocrats of Vieira and Robert Pires wore contented expressions from their front-row seats, and few could deny that this 11th regular-season instalment of the NBA in London was zealously received.

Stern, indeed, claimed that the NBA "could not return often enough" to their satellite base here at the O₂. The only problem was that amid the unending din, whether from impromptu coaching clinics or Misha B's shrill half-time show, it was often damnably difficult to tell whether there was still a basketball match taking place.

Brown's curmudgeonly manner aside, I must agree with some of his points: namely, attending an NBA game in person can be overwhelming.

I get that casual fans need to be entertained during timeouts, but the constant barrage of Kiss-Cams, jumbotron races, on-court shooting competitions for grocery store gift certificates, t-shirt cannons, hot dog rows ... it's over the top, too loud and most of the time just plain annoying. Of course, it's become part of the routine that it's now taken for granted -- at least, I suppose, until a grumpy foreigner reminds us.

Get off my lawn. Now your thoughts.


The View from O2: Pistons fall in London

The Knicks beat the Pistons, 102-87, and the game was rarely close -- New York jumped to a 16-2 lead in the opening minutes and rarely looked back. But for basketball-starved fans at London's O2 Arena, the final score was but a small detail compared to simply watching a real live NBA game on the other side of the Atlantic.


Cheerio! Pistons face Knicks in London

Hey, the Pistons sold out a home game! Sadly, they had to travel 3,700 miles from Auburn Hills to do it.


London buckets!

After conquering the Detroit trick shot scene, Kyle Singler invaded Britain. Hooray buckets!


What London is saying about the NBA

What do Londoners think of the NBA? Let's look at the papers!


London Link Dump: Tired Pistons practice, more

Random news and notes from Detroit's UK invasion.


London calling: Pistons, Knicks head overseas

No, really. The Pistons are in London. I don't know why either.


Pistons contest to watch Pistons-Knicks in London

You and a friend could win a trip to London, England to see the Detroit Pistons take on the New York Knicks January 17. Big Ben will be there, but unfortunately not the one pictured.


Pistons, Knicks to play in London

The New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons will take their Jan. 17 game across the pond to London, where they'll play a regular season game in Europe for only the third time in NBA history.

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