SAN ANTONIO – The AT&T Center announced Friday that air conditioning has been restored to the arena and should be functional for Sunday's Game 2 of the NBA Finals. And if it isn't working, the Miami Heat want the NBA to fine the San Antonio Spurs.
The building lost its AC for Game 1 because of an electrical failure, sending temperatures near 90 degrees on the court and ultimately contributing to LeBron James having to spend the final minutes of the fourth quarter on the bench because of dehydration and cramps.
"It was an extreme unfortunate situation for both teams," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Friday before Miami's practice. "It probably won't happen again, ever. Now, we might have to deal with the absolute opposite in Game , who knows. It will be 55 degrees in the arena, unless they don't get it fixed – which, if they don't, there should be a fine."
The AT&T Center and the Spurs hope it doesn't come to that.
"The electrical failure that caused the AC system outage during Game 1 of the NBA Finals has been repaired," an AT&T Center spokesperson said in a statement Friday. "The AC system has been tested, is fully operational and will continue to be monitored."
The arena is playing host to a concert Friday night and a WNBA game on Saturday, giving the building's maintenance team a couple of opportunities to assess the AC's effectiveness.
Spoelstra compared Thursday's climate in the AT&T Center to playing an NBA game "in a hot yoga environment." "It's not ideal," Spoelstra said.
At least one local official didn't understand all the fuss. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, whose office helps oversee the AT&T Center, told the San Antonio Express-News that complaints about the heat were exaggerated.
"I was there, and I wasn't all that hot," Wolff told the Express-News. "According to what I have been told by our people, our temperature deal showed 78 degrees, not 90. It may have been just a little uncomfortable for some folks, but it didn't bother me or anybody in the suite we were in."
Given James' struggles in Game 1 and history with cramps, might the Spurs be inclined to raise the temperature again?
"All I know is I saw all the air-conditioning people in the hallway on my way out last night," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, "and I sent them home."
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