Devon, or a weak scent of salami, mixed in with copious amounts of body odour and dressed down sweat were the night's eye watering primer. With nearly a row taken up by the gang in support of the Trendwest Sydney Kings, the few remaining on the left were taken by a family of Razorback supports. One of whom was a rather portly sized—let's just face the fact that she was fatter than the seat allocated—woman. Despite everyone else around her feeling the cool currents of the air conditioning, she just couldn't stop readjusting her armpits and the hold of skin surrounding. At one stage in the night she nearly took out the eye of her son in an akimbo stance.
One man on the far left, right up against the wall of the Entertainment Centre, vocal as he might have been, was quite lame in all of his attempted barbs toward the home team and defending champions. "Get a haircut," directed at King's CJ Bruton was the first of many weak potshots. They got louder, but failed to get better.
Down on the court, an unfamiliar sight of Jack, mascot for the Razorbacks and a purple Koala with green sequinned shorts from the ABC Learning Centre. The Lion was nowhere in sight. That was until a few minutes before the tip-off, at which point, Jack was then seen running in the opposite direction.
Standing up for the David Campbell's rendition of the national anthem was met with deranged shouts of the man on the far left. At least it wasn't as bad or as ludicrous as a pack of Razorback fans who attempted to taunt the cheerleaders at every point in which they took to the floor. They're garnering cheer God damn it! Seats were quickly sought following the pressure fight of the Razorbacks.
Ugly from the very minute it started, the points were also clambering to find their way up. Both sides were seemingly strong on defence. That was until the visitors kept bombing three pointers from all over the place. Trahair, Dwight and Rillie were the main offenders and in comparison, it seemed as if the hands of Sheridan and Stiff were poisoned. Nigh on every time they had possession and attempts at shot, it failed to result in a positive turn. The Kings looked to have been extremely off with most of their attempts failing to connect in goals. The first quarter was easily stolen by the Razorbacks with the Kings not that far behind. Second period would see an ever changing and incremental shift of lead between the two teams.
David Campbell returned to an emptied court to provide the half-time entertainment. Opening with Shout from the Johnny O'Keefe musical of the same name there were cheerleaders dancing around him. When She's Gone saw a couple of them sneak off to get into their second half gear and by the time he was closing with Hope only one lone Harlequin remained. The mini cheerleaders waiting on the side were denied a chance to jump in on the action and sent back to their box behind the backboard.
Trickling closer to the final result and the final call, the chants of "DEFENCE, DEFENCE" escalated in strength, volume and urgency. Revved, there was much at stake for the invested. Hearts were beating into blindness for those caught up. Breaths started short and ended empty. Ticking time like a metronome the upperhand swayed back and forth in a most tense spectacle of close calls and missed shots.
With the clock running down regulation time and the scores locked at 66-66, CJ Bruton casually approached the ring with the anxiety levels of the King's crowd seriously on edge. Missing the final shot didn't help matters with the collective slump back down into the seats. Overtime. Hearts racing, nerves wrought, standing up to count down the final minutes proved hard.
Fouled onto the charity strip, Sheridan was given the chance to save the Kings into double over time. When he missed the first shot it was pretty much all over. A mad scramble at the end of the second shot saw the time on the clock stopped at .9 seconds with a Kings timeout. Hustling for some sort of miracle, the hands of Ebi Ere were sought from a lead in at half-court. Just sailing past the ring, the bitter taste of defeat brought back the lungs which for the past five minutes went on strike pending the result.
Kings defeated by the Razorbacks 80-82. Kings down 2 games to 1 in the best of five series facing a fourth game salvation attempt at the Pig Pen.
- Kings vs Razorbacks - NBL Grand Finals: Game 1
- Kings vs Razorbacks - NBL Grand Finals: Game 4
- Kings vs Razorbacks - NBL Grand Finals: Game 5
Reviewed on Thursday, 1 April 2004