The bad news is that the game was highlighted for reasons having nothing to do with basketball.
Perhaps any game featuring the Mavs will get attention, given that they're the defending NBA champions. However, the Pistons didn't put up much of a fight, losing 100-86, and there wasn't much worth seeing again from the game. Except for the sight of two fans in civilian clothes (not suits), beers in hand, sitting on the Dallas bench.
Not next to the Mavs' bench. But actually among the players, sitting between Vince Carter and Delonte West. Much to the disbelief of George Blaha and Greg Kelser on the FOX Sports Detroit telecast. See for yourself.
So what was the story here? Who were those guys? And how did they get such choice seats? Were they friends of the players? Even if they were, why was coach Rick Carlisle allowing two guys enjoying a few pops to sit between his players during a game?
Larry Brown Sports gives us the answers we seek. (No relation to the former Pistons coach, by the way, if you didn't already know that.)
It turns out the fans in question are Aaron Cohen, a fashion designer who runs a clothing company called Revive, and a guy who goes by Chris Smokes on Twitter. Cohen is from the Michigan area, so we’re guessing the seats came from the Pistons, not Mark Cuban or the Mavericks.
But what about where they were sitting? Were those two allowed to sit just about anywhere, considering the paltry attendance at the Palace of Auburn Hills?
Apparently, those were VIP seats and technically weren't on the Mavs' bench. So maybe Carter was the odd man out on the Dallas sideline and had to move down to the next available seat. Maybe that's also an indication of Carter's standing on the Mavs' depth chart. Ouch.
You can see photos from those sweet seats by either clicking through the above links to Larry Brown Sports or Cohen's Twitter page.