The Orlando Magic have their preseason game tonight against the Miami Heat, which was to be played at the St. Pete Times Forum, "due to unsafe playing conditions." The court is simply too slick to be safe because "an improper cleaning agent" was used on it last night, according to a Times Forum spokesman Josh Robbins quoted. The team was unable to practice this morning, instead literally walking through its offensive and defensive gameplans.
As of a few hours ago, it appeared as though the game would proceed as planned. But the floor never became suitably dry. As a result, a neutral-site game designed to promote interest in the NBA--pitting Florida's two NBA teams who both happen to be championship contenders against one another--fizzled disastrously. The people who spent big money on tickets, or made the long drive to Tampa, must be furious right now. And ESPN, which planned to broadcast the game nationally, now has more than two hours of programming to fill.
The Magic's preseason thus ends with a perfect 7-0 record and an average victory margin of 25 points per game. Their season opens next Thursday against the Washington Wizards at Amway Center, where I assure you the court will be playable.