Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Rockets take ferry to game
ESPN.com news services
Planes, trains and automobiles? How about planes, ferries and Rockets.
The Bay Bridge closed down on Tuesday due to a snapped cable, cutting off the Houston Rockets' route from their hotel in San Francisco to Oakland for Wednesday's game against the Golden State Warriors.
The team found out about the problem after its loss to the Blazers in Portland on Tuesday night. The Rockets flew to San Francisco and then weighed their options.
"We looked at a lot of things and decided, 'We're taking a ferry,'" Rockets athletic trainer and vice president of basketball operations Keith Jones said, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Aaron Brooks even snapped some photos of his teammates on the 20-minute trip across San Francisco Bay.
"Make a memory," he said with a smile. "I feel like I'm part of the city. Now I feel like I'm from San Francisco and Oakland.
"This had to be a first. We always see the boats. It was different. I never imagined being in the NBA I'd take a ferry to a game. It was nice, scenic. We had a great tour guide in [Bay Area native] Chuck [Hayes] -- even though Chuck doesn't know where the Golden Gate Bridge is. It was still cool nevertheless."
Some riders thought the Rockets were plainclothes police officers, while others quickly figured out they were a basketball team.
This is a first as far as the Warriors or Rockets can remember.
The NBA requires teams to take buses to games due to security concerns. With congestion in the Bay Area due to the bridge closure, taking a bus from the hotel to the game didn't look like a good option. The Rockets then looked at taking public transportation.
"[The police] said that would be really tough," Jones said, according to the Chronicle. "It would be really crowded with a lot of pushing and shoving, and a security issue with autographs. And then we'd have to walk from the Coliseum station to the arena."
Golden State coach Don Nelson was amused.
"Oh did they?" he asked when told of the Rockets' mode of transportation. "I haven't [done that]. That's a first. I've taken trains."
"This is the first ferry ride I've ever taken," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "It wasn't bad, beautiful day."
He said the only travel experience quite this crazy came during his playing days when he flew from Portland to Buffalo and played the same night.
Adelman said he couldn't see much on the boat, so he passed the time talking on the phone and reading.
"You can't see anything but a bunch of cargo ships," he said.
The Rockets did take a bus on each side of the ferry ride and arrived in Oakland shipshape.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.