Monday, August 3, 2020 -
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When I stepped into the Pepsi Center last week, I remembered an observation I made years ago: The best sporting event to see live is basketball. (Admittedly, my field is limited. I’ve never been to either a football game or a boxing match, both of which may be contenders.)

The sport I follow most closely and attend most often is hockey. Until last week, I thought this was the most exciting live sport. But I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten about basketball’s drum line as one enters the arena. I’d forgotten about the music (is basketball the only sport with music during actual play?). I’d forgotten about the intimacy of a basketball court. They many people who cross the polished wood, from reporters to coaches to (of course) the players.

A professional basketball game still maintains the vibe of a pick-up game on your neighborhood court.

Now, if you were to ask me, pick one team, one arena, one sport, I’d still say hockey and it would be the Swiss team I follow, HC Ambrì-Piotta. This team is so unlikely, its hangar of an arena located between two very small mountain villages, Ambrì and Piotta. That they’ve managed to maintain a professional team is astounding. The villagers live for their club, and that kind of passion can’t be replicated.

Lucky for us Denver sports fans we don’t need to choose between basketball or hockey, or ask who’s the better mascot, Rocky or Bernie. For the first time in a long time, both the Nuggets and Avalanche are in the playoffs. I’m pretty sure any game this time of year at Pepsi Center will be one of the best you’ve ever been to.

Shana Goldberg may be reached at

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Shana Goldberg

IJN Assistant Publisher |

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