SAN ANTONIO – Gatorade apologized Friday for comments posted to the company’s Twitter feed after Miami Heat star LeBron James cramped up and had to leave Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The tweets were not deleted.
James needed intravenous fluids after the game, during which temperatures inside San Antonio’s AT&T Center were measured at nearly 90 degrees after the arena’s air conditioning system failed. The Spurs won the game 110-95, pulling away in the final 3:59 after James left the game for good with cramps in his left leg.
“Our apologies for our response to fans’ tweets during (Thursday) night’s Heat vs. Spurs game,” Gatorade said in a release. “We got caught up in the heat of the battle. As a longtime partner of the Miami Heat, we support the entire team.”
Gatorade has a long business relationship with the NBA. James is an endorser of Powerade, a Gatorade rival.
One of the tweets, in response to someone who directed a message toward the sports drink’s feed, read that, “We were waiting on the sidelines, but he prefers to drink something else.”
He may be paid by Powerade, but it appeared James was drinking Gatorade at least once during Game 1 of the finals. Video and photos taken of James on the Heat bench during the second half showed him holding what appeared to be a Gatorade bottle with the label removed, as has been the case on other occasions.
Spurs Sports and Entertainment announced Friday that the outage that affected Game 1 of the NBA Finals between San Antonio and Miami has been repaired.
Officials said the system has been tested and the air conditioning system is “fully operational.”