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Article:Takin' it to the street: Suns and Nuggets to play outdoors

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From All on the Field sports blog: Carmelo Anthony could become the first NBA player to have a bird scat on his head during a game, Shaq could be the first to lose a pass in the sunlight, and Steve Nash could complain about a wind gust knocking down his three ball.

Lots of things could go wrong with the outdoor exhibition between the Suns and the Nuggets, scheduled for October 11 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California.

But lots of things could go right, too. And if worse comes to worst, the powers that be can just put the kibosh on any similar events in the future.

Considering the NHL's smashing success in staging the outdoor Winter Classic, though, I don't think the NBA has anything to worry about. The New Year's Day event drew record crowds despite snow conditions, and seemed to create the kind of stir the league has desperately needed.

The sheer novelty of an outdoor game and all of the interesting possibilities stemming from that -- see the first paragraph -- is what excites me.

But there's one thing about the pre-season event that has me scratching my head. It seems that by playing an outdoor game, the NBA is trying to appeal to the street ball crowd: you know, the ones that play inside the chain-link fence, swish their shots through metal nets, and say things like "we got next."

By hosting the game at the luxurious Indian Wells (check out the link if you've never seen a tennis match there), any notion of "street" is pretty much thrown out the window. But if that's not what they're going for, then I'm good with it.


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