It happened again. But, I learned two years ago. NBA fans who purchase tickets in advance should be forewarned that the star player you are paying $150 plus per ticket to see may not play in the game. That's what I discovered two years ago when I paid big bucks to see Lebron James play for Cleveland against the home town Indiana Pacers. Well unfortunately on game night, Lebron was no where to be found. It was announced that he was resting. He was no where to be seen on the bench so I assumed he was back home in Cleveland watching the game from the comfort of his home.
So my wife and I were entertained by the rest of Lebron's teammates. With the absence of James I think our team won, but it didn't sooth the hurt in my wallet from paying premium cash for the honor of seeing Lebron and his team. NBA tickets are now priced based on the marque value of the opposition. So tickets to Cleveland and Golden State are higher than a ticket to let's say Charlotte or Memphis. Unfortunately NBA fans don't get a refund if the marque player or players for the opposition decides he wants to rest that day. Or if the coach decides to rest the player.
Back in the 1960s, 70's and 80s, there was no thought of a player taking a rest day. The players and owners understood that fans were coming out to games to see the star players play. That viewpoint no longer seems to be in place. The NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, apparently is on the players side rather than the fans side. So, why can't we the fans get a refund if a star player wants to rest? We overpaid so we could see the player and now you tell me, "Oh, he needs to rest that night." That's okay with me as long as you give me a refund if I don't want to see just his teammates play.
Fans now might as well wait until game night to decide if you will purchase a ticket, yet alone pay the high price for a parking spot near the arena. The other night, Cleveland came to town to play the Pacers. Again as before, Lebron did not play. The reason given was, rest. So all those fans who came out were treated to Lebron on the bench, while Mr. Love and Mr. Irving tried to give the fans their money's worth. What a rip off to jack up prices for some teams but then not refund the money when the team's star player rests instead of playing.
Maybe most of the fans, at least season ticket holders, can afford to drop $300 plus to see bench players. But those hard working fans who sacrificed to take a son or daughter to the game typically can't do so. Come on NBA! Honor your ticket contract with the fans and ensure your star players play! Otherwise do like me. Don't even bother getting tickets in advance for early season and late season games. Those are prime games when aging stars will be rested. Instead invest that money in yourself. A nice expensive meal. A trip somewhere. Or even better just put the money into your savings account until you find a better use for it.