The hot topic centered around the final days of the NBA regular season oddly enough is not whether the Los Angeles Lakers are going to make the playoffs. The hot topic is whether or not stars should be playing in their team’s final regular season games as opposed to resting for the playoffs.
Some are of the opinion that fans pay their hard-earned money to see Lebron James and Dwayne Wade and for them to sit is somehow robbing them, or at least short-changing them. I understand that line of thinking. When you pay your money for the tickets, parking, food and beverages, gas to get there and back, it really adds up. You want the most bang for your buck.
But, the goal for the team is not to make sure the fans get the optimum experience for that one night they decide to go to the game instead of watching on TV. Their responsibility is to win the championship, or at least give it all they have to try. If resting guys gets them closer to winning the NBA championship, then that is what they need to do.
If you are a fan of the team, or even the star players, isn’t them winning the championship more important than them playing the night you go to the game? I would think so.
I personally have been on both sides of this. I was a season ticket holder in the NBA for eight seasons. Most of the fans who attend NBA games are season ticket holders and it is by far. There might be 1000 seats available for single game purchase on average per team. The other 17 or 18 thousand fans are there every game. They see the stars plenty. They want to see the team go deep into the playoffs.
For that blue-collar fan who can only afford to go to one game a year, here is what I say to you, because I too am with you now. I didn’t have season tickets anymore, so I shop around for the best ticket deals and the best games, etc. Realize this. When someone buys season tickets, they pay the same price for every game. It could be a pre-season game in October or a big national TV game on Christmas Day or a huge game for layoff positioning down the stretch, they are all one price. There is NO GUARANTEE that if you buy season tickets for the Miami Heat that Lebron James won’t tear his knee up in the preseason and miss the whole year. Do you think the Heat would refund all the people’s money? Of course not.
The legal transaction taking place here is the fans are buying tickets to watch the Miami Heat. As long as the Miami Heat run five guys on the court every night that once played some college basketball back in the day, it does not matter that nobody knows who they are. The Miami Heat is still taking the court. We all know the real truth is the fans are buying the tickets to see Lebron James and had they known he was going to miss the whole season, they would not have made the purchase. But that doesn’t matter.
So, my advice to the fan that wants to take the kids to the game, ask yourself this…would you pay the same price to go watch the Charlotte Bobcats play the Phoenix Suns. If you would not, then don’t buy the tickets. Because if you pay the higher price based on the fact that Lebron James or Kobe Bryant will be playing, there is no guarantee that they will. They could get hurt. Or they could clinch early.
The stars of the game do have a responsibility to the fans. But their main responsibility is to their teams. If resting puts the team in a better position to win it all, then that is what they should do.
The kids? I can’t speak for everyone’s kids, but mine only care about going to the game. It could be a minor league baseball or the Daytona 500, it’s all a big event to them. So if Lebron sits out, they still have a good time.