The closing of Game 2 in the NBA Finals created a tie between defending champions the Miami Heat and the four-time-title-winning San Antonio Spurs. With an even playing field laid out and growing expectations for both teams, it was the perfect time for two opera companies to arrange a friendly bet. Miami's Florida Grand Opera and Opera Piccola of San Antonio, each eager to show some hometown pride, settled on a wager that stipulated that the loosing company will send an emerging artist to the winning city to perform a free recital for the public.
"It's all about pride, and that's the thing that makes the excitement more, and more every year - because the Spurs are one of the many things in our city that we hold close to our hearts. Just like the arts, just like the opera ..." said Mark Richter, the General and Artistic Director of Opera Picolla of San Antonio, in an interview with Texas Public Radio..
In line with other game-invested local leaders, including the mayors and archbishops of Miami and San Antonio, the heads of both opera companies added to the bet. The winning CEO is due to receive a care package comprised of treats and tokens showcasing the culture of the other. They also want the public to join in the fun! The hashtag #NBAoperaFinals has been created, allowing sports and opera fans to follow the action on Twitter and instagram.
On Monday, Game 3 proved a devastating loss for the Miami Heat, not only with a final score of 113-77 but also with 16 3-pointers by Spurs guard Danny Green that nearly broke the record. With Lebron James' leadership and performance being called into question, things are looking up for the Spurs.
"It's not over yet," said Susan T. Danis, General Director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera. "These are two very strong teams, so I won't be surprised if they fight it out for seven whole games. Go Heat!"