Monday, August 22, 2016

Texas Triangle 2016: NBA Roadtrip wishlist

TEXAS TRIANGLE: San Antonio | (Austin) | Dallas | Houston
The '30 Home Games' project began in Lithuania during a year long EuroTrip, it continued sveral years later when I backpacked for 6 months around South America. During those trips I had found a basketball experience in each Country visited, what began organically turned into a concerted effort. Seeking Local Leagues and connecting with locals through pickup games or just a shared love of the game.

With the ordinary constraints of a full-time job, my mission to watch all 30 NBA Teams at their home venue is tangible goal to work towards. Organizing month-long regional itineraries around the States to ultimately visit all 29 (Staples Center hosts 2 LA teams) NBA cities. In 2015, I completed a short East Coast roadtrip with friends, going to 3 arenas to watch games. I had my first NBA experience at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks kindly treating my running mates and I to Pre-game Access. We got to see the likes of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony warming up in an empty arena, a magical fan experience to tip-off my NBA adventure.

I'll be spending this November backpacking in America's Southwest which ticks off 3 more NBA Teams in the "Texas Triangle". As a bonus, the trip coincides with several notable events. Departing Sydney on my Birthday, I'll be stateside to tip-off the NBA Season, and be witness to the Presidential election and 'Dia de los Muertos' (Day of the Dead).

Happy Texas #30HGsouthwest
I was initially tossing up between a Texas trip or a Californian one. The common thread being that they were both Mexican border States. I was keen on having a Mexican experience to mark 'Day of the Dead' festivities. I eventually decided on Texas due to novelty, having never been there. I was also drawn to Austin. Being the base for SXSW and 2 of my rolemodels, Filmmakers Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez.

Austin, Texas
WRESTLING
Anarchy Championship Wrestling
Inspire Pro Wrestling (Oct 29, Red Oak Ballroom)
Party World Rasslin'
Total Championship Wrestling (Oct 29, Nov 12. Killeen Army National Guard Armory)

COMEDY
Cap City Comedy Club
Carousel Lounge
- ColdTowne Theater
Esther's Follies
- The Hideout Theatre
- Moontower Comedy

FILM
Troublemaker Studios (Robert Rodriguez)
4900 Old Manor Rd, Austin,
TX 78723

Detour Film Production (Richard Linklater)
1901 E 51st St Austin,
TX 78723

- Filming locations for 'Boyhood' (2014)

I'll be visiting 3 NBA teams, a road trip famously dubbed the "Texas Triangle". An ominous stretch for opponents as the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have been consistently great for several decades. All 3 having won a Championship in the past 20 years, sharing 8 in total during that span. Houston were the first team I supported when I began watching the NBA as a teenager in the early 90's. Their most iconic player, Hakeem Olajuwon is my all-time favorite player. On my first solo backpacking adventure in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks won that year which holds a sentimental place in my heart. Whilst multiple Aussie Boomers have won CHIPs for the past few Champions, the San Antonio Spurs' famously had Aron Baynes and arguably Australia's best International performer in Patty Mills.

Luckily during the early stages of the NBA Season, the 3 Texas teams will be hosting teams featuring the full gamut of Australian players represented in the NBA. Whilst not quite marquee Franchises, they're all up-and-coming teams I'm intrigued by: The Philadelphia 76ers (Ben Simmons, Coach Brett Brown), Milwaukee Bucks (Matthew Dellavedova, Thon Maker), Utah Jazz (Joe Ingles, Dante Exum) and Detroit Pistons (Aron Baynes). With Dallas (Andrew Bogut) and San Antonio (Patty Mills) rounding out the squads with Aussie players. I'm aiming for an itinerary that can accommodate these games marked below:
Tues Nov 1 - UTA at SAS
Sun Nov 6 - MIL at DAL
Fri Nov 11 - DET at SAS
Mon Nov 14 - PHI at HOU
Sat Nov 19 - UTA at HOU

Greetings from Dallas, Texas
American Airlines Center
2500 Victory Avenue,
Dallas, Texas 75201

NBA GAMES:
Fri Oct 28 - Dallas
Fri Nov 4 - Portland
Sun Nov 6 - Milwaukee ----------
Fri Nov 18 - Memphis

COMEDY
Backdoor Comedy at the Doubletree Hotel
Dallas Comedy House

WRESTLING
- Pro Wrestling Dallas (Nov 11 at St Jude Hall, Arlington Texas )
- Ring of Honor (Nov 3 at Arlington Convention Center)

Greetings from Houston, Texas

Toyota Center 
1510 Polk Street,
Houston, Texas 77002

HOUSTON:
Sun Oct 30 - Dallas
Sat Nov 12 - San Antonio
Mon Nov 14 - Philadelphia ----------
Thu Nov 17 - Portland
Sat Nov 19 - Utah ----------
Wed Nov 23 - Toronto

WRESTLING
Reality of Wrestling (Nov12 at World Gym Arena)
Lone Star Championship Wrestling

COMEDY
Joke Joint Comedy Showcase
Miller Outdoor Theatre
The Music Box Theater
Rudyards British Pub
Station Theater
'Comedy Scene in Houston' Events Calendar

Greetings from San Antonio, Texas

AT&T Center 
1 AT&T Center Parkway,
San Antonio, Texas 78219

NBA GAMES:
Sat Oct 29 - New Orleans
Sun Oct 30 - Miami
Tues Nov 1 - Utah ----------
Sat Nov 5 - LA Clippers
Wed Nov 9 - Houston
Fri Nov 11 - Detroit ----------
Mon Nov 14 - Miami
Mon Nov 21 - Dallas

COMEDY:
- Blind Tiger Comedy Club
Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Rivercenter Comedy Club

WRESTLING:
- NWA: Branded Outlaw Wrestling
- Ring of Honor (Nov 4 at San Antonio Shrine Auditorium)
River City Wrestling (Nov 4 at Retama Park Horse Race Track)
- Texas All-Star Wrestling (Nov 13 at Traders Village)
Texas Wrestling Alliance (Nov 5 at Good Shepard Lutheran Gym)
- Warriors 4 Christ Wrestling

As I do at home and abroad, whether in Sydney or on my FIBA adventures. I'll be indulging my hobbies and exploring various subcultures which you can track on my Instagram page. I unfortunately haven't played much ball with locals on the past few Australasian trips around China and New Zealand. I'm hoping to get back into it when I visit Texas.

Destination list:
- 30 Home Games mission: Southwest Division map
- 30HG Destination Spotlight: Troublemaker Studios (Austin, Texas)
- Champagning and Campaigning in the NBA Cities: Western Conference edition
#30HGaustralasia Plans for 2016: 'Australian Boomers Farewell Series' in Melbourne and a Texas NBA Road trip