One of the underrated subplots of the playoffs is when non-sports events get scheduled for our nation's arenas, and the conflicts it causes when a team goes deep. We've had two notable instances of it already, with the Lightning and Bulls running up against two of the most powerful forces in entertainment: Disney and Oprah.
Toy Story 3: On Ice. It exists! Probably because kids are generally undemanding consumers, but no matter: the St. Pete Times Forum had scheduled a length run for the show next week, when Tampa Bay should be playing games 3 and 4 of their conference finals series with Boston. It goes counter to every joke you probably just thought of, but turns out the NHL takes precedence. They've canceled five Toy Story 3 performances over three days, probably so Patrice Bergeron doesn't get roughed up by Buzz Lightyear.
Who knew hockey had so much pull? Not David Stern or the Bulls, who will graciously step aside for Oprah and move game 1 of the NBA conference finals if Chicago takes part. Yeah, you don't fuck with Oprah.
Winfrey's last show will be filmed Tuesday at the United Center ("everybody gets a Carlos Boozer contract!") and they'll need time to set up. Game 1, scheduled for Monday, would have to be moved up to Sunday if the Bulls close things out tonight, or back to Wednesday if Chicago wins in seven games.
Think they could have bumped Oprah like Tampa Bay did? Maybe made it worth her while? Shit, Michael Jordan doesn't even have that much money.