60 Days, 30 Arenas: The Mission

Meet Andrew Unterberger, a Philadelphia 76ers blogger, who is about to tackle every NBA fan’s dream: visiting every NBA arena in just under two months. This is his road journal …

Hello Basketball Jonesers —

This is Andrew Unterberger, a Sixers blogger from The 700 Level and occasional freelance NBA writer. My real-world job is coming to an end and before I head back to the grind, I’m plotting a cross-country NBA trip — a pilgrimage, if you will.

The plan? I’m going to see a home game at all 30 NBA arenas (well, 29 technically, with a two-fer at the Staples Center) in the space of two months, starting November 2nd at Madison Square Garden and ending New Year’s Eve at the TD Banknorth Garden. In between, I’m going to learn a lot about the hotels and hostels of the midwest, overplay my 20 favorite Sirius/XM radio stations, and have a heart attack adding up gas and toll receipts.

The purpose? Well, aside from putting off looking for a real job, I want a crash-course in what it’s like to be a member of all 30 NBA fanbases. I want to know what it’s like to cheer on a Hawks alley-oop dunk, to hold up the “three” sign as the Suns lift their latest shot from deep, and to chant “WE WANT TACOS!” as the Lakers blow out yet another unworthy opponent. I’m not just interested in the actual stadium experience, though. I want to know what the general vibe is surrounding these different teams.

Do Knicks fans have hope for the future? Do Mavericks fans feel like the window is still open? Are Cavs fans willing to embrace what they’re left with, or do they want to move on entirely? Do Heat fans feel like they’ve earned what they’ve gotten? Have the Nuggets fans turned on Carmelo Anthony? Do Hornets fans think there’s any chance of keeping Chris Paul?

So, join me as I tour the best and worst of what the NBA currently has to offer, and pray that I manage to go all two months without having to test my ability to change a flat tire.

Meanwhile, if you’re going to one of the same games that I am and you feel like talking about your home team for a few minutes or have suggestions for local hangs and/or road trip sanity-maintainers, please feel free to give me a buzz here or on Twitter, where I’ll be posting updates of where I am and where I’m going. Or just look for the tall Jewish guy with bedhead in the stands furiously scribbling down notes about what jock jams are being played over the mascot dunk-offs during timeouts.

See you on the road.