My Night Behind the Bench and on TV: Pelicans vs. Warriors

Published: April 8, 2015

If I’m being honest, I believe that at every sporting event I’ve ever attended that the team I was rooting for had a chance to win. This confidence, this way-of-living was no different when I walked into the Smoothie King Center earlier tonight. It didn’t change when word got out that the Warriors were calling this game a “scrimmage.” It didn’t change when Draymond Green told me before the game started that “there’s no way you will win this game tonight.” I responded, “you don’t need it, let us have it.” He spit back, “why should we give it to you?” with a cold stare attached. He said it again. “Why?” Fair enough, I thought. National anthem, player introductions, tip-off, game on.

I usually spend the first half of the first quarter feeling out the opposing team. My season seat, singular, is right behind the visitors bench. I’m so close that I know for a fact that the visiting team can hear everything I’m saying if I choose to assert myself. Depending on the circumstances, I usually do. More on that later, in a future post. This is about the night the New Orleans Pelicans tipped over the Golden State Warriors as they miraculously (hopefully) wiggle their way into the final seed in the Western Conference. We are hanging in this game but it feels like the Warriors will press turbo at any moment.

Draymond Green’s “muscle” taunt (it is what is sounds like) isn’t terribly effective in my opinion, but he’s a good player and he can select whatever taunt he wants as long as he sticks with it for better or worse. In the second quarter he flexes the muscle taunt in my direction as he walks to the bench during a timeout and tells me again, “you aren’t winning this game.” My usher, who I have a great, understanding, friendly relationship with, orders me politely “don’t go after Draymond. Please.” It’s a difficult request, but I oblige. The Warriors begin pulling away.


In the second quarter I realize that Andre Iguodala is my favorite type of player to interact with. He recognizes that I’m not being an offensive heckler (I’m more specific taunt and hometown glee than generic visiting team insult) and chooses to interact with me. I ask him for a sip of water, referencing a previous interaction we had, and he stares me down for a solid 15 seconds before cracking up for a bit, giving me the professional basketball player the sign for “you’re cool” (I think). It’s halftime now which is good because if there was any clock left I’m certain Golden State would use it to increase their lead.

The Pelicans make a run in the third quarter, which I am led to believe has mostly to do with my eating of a Pelican shaped sugar cookie in the Capital One Club. My favorite “taunt” is assisting the visiting team in calling a timeout when they really need one. I will often jump out of my seat making the timeout gesture whenever the Pelicans go on some sort of run and the visiting team needs a break. When the real timeout follows my fake timeout, it is difficult to contain my genuine excitement. Tonight, that unabashed happiness was caught on Fox Sports Southwest and narrated by Pelicans 2013-14 MVP Joel Meyers. It happened several times, including here late in the game.

The Pelicans go on to win the game after a crazy Steph Curry shot spins around the rim, taking the Smoothie King Center faithful for a spin as well, and then jumps out of the basket. The fans jump out of their seats as I stand on mine for the first time, test driving a new celebration. I get down (before someone makes me get down) and make eye contact with Draymond Green. To his credit, he walked over, smiled, and shook my hand. I appreciated that, via handshake, he admitted that this was not a scrimmage and that we (the Pelicans) did in fact win the game.

It’s unclear what happens next. We’re not sure if the Pelicans make the playoffs or not. We are positive however, that if we do make the playoffs, we are playing the Golden State Warriors. Are we playing these Warriors, italicized to emphasize their lack of respect for our Pelicans? Or will we play the Warriors, bolded to emphasize their dominance over most of the league most of the time? Honestly, I don’t care. I’ll be behind the bench doing my thing, win or lose, on TV or not on TV. Here’s hoping that New Orleans will be with me, filling the Smoothie King Center up with outspoken, passionate, intense fans. It’s a great time to be an NBA fan in New Orleans – let’s enjoy it.

Follow Chris Trew on Twitter and watch him do live comedy every single week at the home for New Orleans comedy, The New Movement. His podcast, Trew 2 the Game, is part of the It’s New Orleans network. 


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