There are still seats in the old Philadelphia Spectrum. The
one little problem is that they are dangling from an upper-deck girder that remains
in place after the longtime Sixers’ home was detonated awhile back.
To see the plays in absolute ruins is a reminder that the
NBA’s glory arenas of the past are just that. In the past. And pretty
soon, they’ll only be in our memories.
The classic venues to watch the NBA’s best players are
slowly dying out. Soon, the cookie-cutter arenas will be all that’s left.
The Spectrum actually closed down to the NBA in 1995. Jason
Kidd is the only Maverick – and one of the few players in the league,
that actually played there. Rick Carlisle remembers it fondly, too. He saw one
of his first NBA games there in 1977.
“We took a family trip to Buffalo, Philadelphia and
Boston and saw three games in three or four days,’’ he said. “At
that time, Philly was a top team and Dr. J (Julius Erving) was my favorite
player. I was in awe.’’
Now, it’s all crumbled, like a dead animal on the side
of the road with its guts hanging out. You can still see rows of seats that are
still intact where the upper deck used to be. But it’s mostly a pile of
concrete. One big mess.
It’s gone the way of Chicago Stadium and Boston Garden
and Veterans Coliseum and McNichols Arena and even Reunion Arena.
These were good, functional buildings that catered to the
fan with great sight lines. And they were all loud.
Now, Utah’s building and the occasional playoff
atmosphere in a few other buildings is the closest the league comes to a true
Sad to see these old galleries go. But as Carlisle said,
progress cannot be stopped.