The reported paid attendance for Tuesday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics was 14,192; this makes sense because the Cavs entered the game at 10-32 and Boston, while a perennial playoff team with several noteworthy stars, has long played brutal-to-watch rock-fight basketball that doesn't exactly inspire on-the-fence casual fans to plunk down money to sell out games when they come into town. This also means that Quicken Loans Arena, which has a listed capacity of 20,500, featured plenty of empty seats, which makes in-arena entertainment staples like the Kiss Cam a bit harder to populate.
Unless, of course, you use a topical news angle to make those empty seats and single ticketholders into a bit. And since the Republican National Convention is too distant a memory, the Cavs' game ops crew decided to go with a more recent, sports-related take:
Mr. Lonely. (Image via @SoleCollector)
The Cavs' Jumbotron goof follows an Independent League baseball team announcing plans for a Manti Te'o's Girlfriend Bobblehead Night and the Dallas Stars extending a "welcome" to Te'o's girlfriend during their NHL season opener. It will almost certainly not be the last such joke, because it is an amazingly easy joke to make, because fans seem to be responding to it, and because pretty much everything about the nearly impossible to believe story of an All-American linebacker whose dead girlfriend never actually existed and was allegedly a hoax perpetrated for not-yet-totally-clear purposes remains very insane.
Given the way things went in the Cavs' 95-90 win, the Q's game ops folks could've just as easily called it the "Celtics Defenders on Kyrie Irving Kiss Cam," since Boston players rarely seemed to be in the picture as the point guard popped for 40 points on 16 for 24 shooting, including 15 in the fourth quarter as Cleveland scored the comeback upset home win. Then again, maybe it's better they didn't; that probably would've drawn some obscene gestures from the Boston bench.