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Friday, October 9, 2009

If You're European and Looking for an American Vacation, Come for the NBA, Stay for the Giraffes

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 1:40 PM


"Attention passengers, this is your guide. If you look to your left right now you'll see a Deshawn Stevenson in his natural habitat. Notice how he stares you down. Notice his battle cry, which consists of incoherent but constant yapping. The plumage and distinctive skin markings are meant to scare off possible predators, but unfortunately, it often fails. Deshawn Stevensons are, by far, one of the easiest targets. In fact, if you throw your empty can of root beer at him right now, he'll spring away quickly."

Apparently NBA games, featuring the best basketball players on the face of the earth, can't sell themselves. They need a gimmick, natch. Enter, a sort of travel agency for Europeans who want to go stateside to see some basketball games. As if a trip to the east coat is going to include wildebeest or wild boars, or public transportation around towns necessitates bow and arrows, this company — which doesn't seem to be connected to the NBA in any way shape or form — feels the need to sell a trip to the US to watch basketball with the overt suggestion that you're taking a player's head home to mount on your wall.

NBASafaris has three basic selling options: Follow a player (like, if you're Spanish and you want to see Spanish guys); Region (if you'd like to stay Northeast, or West or whatever); or a build your own option. I get the utility of having a company focused on giving you the most comfortable basketball experience — hotels, cars, tickets, etc. — especially if you're from another country and totally gonzo for one player or another, but the "Safari" thing has to go. That is, unless, someone gets George Karl to dress in safari gear, hat and binoculars and all. Then it's worth it.

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