OK, I’ll admit it, I went to a Delaware 87ers game on Saturday night.
NBA Development League game, the 76ers affiliate, at “The Bob” on the University of Delaware’s campus in Newark. The state of Delaware’s team.
And just like the Sixers (or at least how they used to be until the last week or so), the Sevens lost, to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 114-103. (Don’t know what a Mad Ant is, but maybe they’re named for the Revolutionary War American general Mad Anthony Wayne and just cut down the nickname to fit on hats.)
No stars here. It sort of reminded me of the one Eastern League game I went to sometime in the late 1960s, at good, old Camden Convention Hall. Camden Bullets vs. somebody. I just remember being there.
But about the 87ers…certainly not an NBA atmosphere. Not nearly loud enough. Don’t have to worry about your ears singing after a D-League game. No dancing girls (I don’t count the 76ers Jr. Dance team), no cannon’s shooting T-shirts into the stands, no screaming music.
But, just like seeing MeLVin the Dog on Chanukah Night at the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, there was the brilliant Caesar the Fox, a red fox, the 87ers mascot. Not sure what a red fox has to do with an 87er, except that he was named for Caesar Rodney, Delaware’s signer of the Declaration of Independence. Still working on any connection with MeLVin and phantoms, except that capital L and capital V.
And then there was this note in the game program, concerning Jamal Jones of the Sevens. He was praised for his defensive job on Seth Curry when the Sevens played the Erie Bayhawks; Curry went off for 43 points, BUT: “The former Duke shooter (Curry) had trouble dealing with Jones’ length, and did most of his damage when other 87ers were trying to check him.”
So why didn’t the genius coaching the 87s figure out that if he kept Jones on Curry, he might have scored only 34 points. Well, maybe he is a genius, since the Sevens won the game, holding the rest of the Bayhawks to 64 points.
It was worth the visit.