I know you want me back and you make a good case that you have done your job. I commend you for it. Smart draft picks like Danny, Roy, and Paul have worked out well. I am pleasantly surprised by the success of David West and George Hill in the post-South Beach era of free agent migration to big markets. You have rebuilt better and faster than I would have thought possible.
I really like Frank Vogel. Is it true that he is Brad Stevens’ older brother?
For the record, I don’t care about the Brawl. I am over Jamaal Tinsley. Kravitz is right: I am not racist. I understand that the NBA has the best talent, but it is not always the best showcase for it. I am a Big Ten fan and is it true that I prefer the atmosphere and intensity of a good game at Hinkle. We’ve tried to kill the high school basketball tournament but I still like to go to a good prep matchup. It’s a tough combination for you to be in a small market but not the only game in town. My guess is that the people in Portland don’t have the same kind of basketball entertainment options that we do.
But I get a little tired of anybody telling me what my responsibility as fan is, and what teams “deserve” from me. This seems to be unique to sports. When Sylvester Stallone makes a ****** movie (link to any of a dozen movies), Sly doesn’t tell people he “deserves” the support of his fans. Sports are entertainment, and the product needs to provide entertainment value. It’s not a relationship, it’s an entertainment choice.
You sold out long ago to the corporate suites and deep-pocket season ticket holders. You decided on a business model that relied on ticket sales to the upper class and TV contracts for the middle class. So let’s not be too quick to blame the fan base when they are a little hesitant to take the family to a game.
I looked for tickets for Friday night’s game against Detroit. Seats below the concourse are $90 minimum. Yes, I know you say that I could probably find a cheaper ticket from a scalper, but that’s not really helping you out. And I could sit up above…
But you do realize what the game looks like on an HD TV in my basement, right? Are you really making the case that the cheap seats are a smart play? For the cost of taking a family of four to the game, I can buy a new Samsung, and I get to watch Brooke Olzendam.
Plus, I don’t think it’s fair for you to measure my feelings for you based on attendance. You are averaging 80 percent of the seats filled. What kind of business model are you running where 80 percent of capacity not only isn’t good enough, it brings national scrutiny?
If you sold 3,000 more tickets for 41 home games at $50 a ticket, that nets you around $6 million, maybe a little more after you sell $9 beers. That’s chump change.
Can’t we say we love you by building you a new fieldhouse and giving you money to operate it? We just voted to give you an additional $10 million of taxpayer money to go with the original $33.5 million. You seem a little needy. Please don’t trade in your strip club handgun for a metaphoric one that says we need to support you, or else.
If attendance were so important, why wouldn’t the NHL be doing better? Have you compared their attendance figures to the NBA? In many cities where they compete, usually in the same arenas, the NHL teams beat the NBA teams.
The answer is that television contracts and television ratings are what drive your success. So let’s not get carried away fretting about whether 13,000 or 16,000 show up on Tuesday night to watch you play the Warriors. Don’t be so insecure. Let’s look forward to revenue sharing.
And by the way, do you know the last time you gave us a single digit draft pick? Probably not. We were much younger then. It was 1989 and George McCloud. I know it’s not your fault. In fact, it’s because you haven’t tanked that we have been stuck in mediocrity. I guess we used all our civic good fortune with the Colts, but it would be nice to get a Kevin Durant every once in a while.
Finally–and this is hard for me to say, because I really do like you–but you have a certain Washington Generals feel. I’m not talking about the Hansbrough brothers. I mean that there’s a big dead end ahead. Oh, I know you were up 2-1 on the Heat last spring, and you have beaten them twice in the regular season. But you are Lebron’s *****. I don’t know if he is better than Michael Jordan, but I know we won’t be going to the finals until he retires or takes his talents to the White Sox. You say this is pessimistic? At the All Star break, Vegas oddsmakers had the Pacers at 25-1 to win the championship. You have the eighth-best record in the league. In any other sport with this resume, you’d have better odds. But Vegas knows how the NBA works.
So I can emotionally and financially invest in you now and be rewarded in May by watching Joey Crawford treat Dywane Wade like he’s porcelain. Let’s be frank: you are regular-season programming and playoff fodder.
I’m sorry if that hurts. Yes, we have a chance. Yes, you’ve changed. Yes, it turns me on when you embarass the Knicks. Yes, I promise to go to a game. Yes, I like you. But let’s just be friends.