Here’s how I wrote it as it happened:
They brought out a [Michael Jordan] look alike. Wow, the crowd is furious. Had MJ showed up, it would have been one of the greatest moments ever. Instead, the crowd is booing and throwing back free shirts. Wow, this place went from electric to catatonic faster than an MJ free throw line jumper in the Delta Center.
I have a few things to say about the debacle in Orem last night, but Tom at Basketballogy has an excellent recap in the meantime:
What everyone will remember is that on night when the Flash had its biggest ever crowd, instead of impressing them with their product, they tricked them with a hoax … all in the name of shaming Jordan, and gaining publicity.
It is utterly astonishing to me that they didn’t know better before they did it. Even the NBA D-League’s commissioner, Dan Reed, was there in attendance.
That said, I’m pretty sure the organization knows it screwed up. In fact, this embarrassment is large enough that there is no need for anyone else to pile on to it. I’m just reporting the night from a loyal fan and customer’s point of view.
Flash owner Brandt Andersen left a comment on that post apologizing for offending the fans, but it’s going to be tricky to move past last night for a while. Tom and I have the luxury of knowing the people behind the scenes with the Flash so we’re much more likely to give them benefit of the doubt. Punking the home crowd was a bad idea all the way around, and the fallout is going to be difficult to clean up.
To his credit, Andersen seemed to spend all night online, posting an apology to his blog and leaving comments elsewhere trying to make ammends. In the meantime, the Flash played a great game and finished with a victory on a night when basketball became a sideshow.
More on this later. For a blow by blow recap as it was happening, check out my twitter feed from last night.