Basketball / Sports

NBA commissioner says air-conditioning issues 'weren't handled perfectly'

SAN ANTONIO -- With three days to investigate the situation, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said things weren't "handled perfectly" during Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

On Sunday, Silver commented for the first time since the game between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs was played without air-conditioning at AT&T Center on Thursday. The malfunction was caused by an electrical failure.

Silver said it was the first time the league had a situation as such.

"In hindsight it wasn't handled perfectly, but they'd never been confronted with that issue before," Silver said shortly before Game 2. "We in the league office, and not just me as commissioner, but I've been with the league office for more than 22 years now, I'd never dealt with a situation like that before."

Silver said there were never plans to cancel or postpone the game despite temperatures reaching high as 88 degrees. Fans complained about the conditions throughout the game. Heat forward LeBron James could not play the final four minutes because of severe cramping.

"First, I'm glad that this isn't single elimination -- it's the best of seven," Silver said. "So it's too early to say how this Finals will be remembered. My sense is having been involved with the league for a long time, there will be all kinds of great moments that will happen, Game 2 going forward, which will stand out more than the heat in Game 1."

The league learned at 7:55 p.m., about 15 minutes before tip-off, of the "circuit-breaker" problems. By the second quarter, it was determined arena officials could not resolve the issue. It was then the teams were notified.

The Spurs released a statement a day after the game saying the unit was repaired. The conditions for Sunday's game were normal.

"I am satisfied that the problem has been resolved," Silver said. "There has been a concert in the building since Game 1. Friday night there was a concert, there was a WNBA game last night that went into double overtime. Air conditioning is obviously running fine in the building now, and they've taken precautions to ensure something like that doesn't happen again.

"I would say that it's certainly not one of my prouder moments in my shorten tenure as commissioner so far, but it's the nature of this game. There always are going to be human and mechanical errors and it's unfortunate."

(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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