The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the most successful franchises in the NBA, thanks to superstar forward LeBron James. However, we're assuming that James has much more sense than to have anything to do with a recent policy instituted at the team's Quicken Loans Arena: removing the water fountains.
The arena defended the action by claiming that it did it in the name of public health, to reduce the chances of spreading germs, especially H1N1 flu. It cited advice from the league and from the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) that such a step is recommended.
One problem: neither organization ever gave such a recommendation. The NBA says it leaves such decisions up to the individual teams, and the IAAM only advises regular, thorough cleanings of fountain surfaces, not their removal.
Furthermore, neither organization, nor the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which broke the story, could find any other arena that had followed (or heard of) this rather extreme “advice.” And just to cap it off, the removal of the fountains may itself have violated state building codes.
Cynics suspected the move might have had more to do with selling pricey beverages (technically, fans can get free cups of water at concession stands, but it's not exactly an option that is widely promoted).
At least the team had sense enough to know when to retreat. It said it would reinstall the fountains, at an estimated cost of around $35,000.
As James could probably tell them, when your offense is sputtering, you can still win by getting back and playing good defense…