By Michael Rand
The most startling revelation from last night’s local sports scene didn’t come from the up-is-down Twins pitching staff (strong starters, shaky relievers) or the Wild playoff game, of which we will not speak. Instead, it came from the fact that next year one might be able to spend $43 for SEASON TICKETS to see an NBA team. Maybe this has been out there for a while, but the “Pay the Pick” deal advertised during last night’s televised Timberwolves game at Detroit was a new one to us. The deal: Your season ticket per game price is equal to whatever pick the Wolves get in the draft. They pick No. 1? $43 for 43 games, or $1 per game. Seriously. $86 for the No. 2 pick. And so on. Perhaps this underscores our insanity or our love of a great deal, but it intrigues us. It’s a huge risk-reward — the cheaper the ticket, presumably, the more reason you would want to watch this team because they would be bringing in a higher-caliber pick, presumably either Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley in the case of the under $100 options. They take a tumble in the lottery and end up with a stiff and you’re stuck with a couple hundred bucks worth of tickets in the cheap seats to watch a still not ready for prime time squad. Then there’s a part of us that — and granted, we have never taken a business class — wonders what the impact of such a huge and desperate price cut will be. Granted, the people paying close to $10K for one season ticket in the prime seats don’t want to sit in Section 220, Row T, for $43, but that disparity for what amounts to renting a chair for 43 nights in the same building has to mean something. Same goes for folks paying $1K for good but not great seats. Now, we’re assuming these seats went largely unoccupied this season and that something is better than nothing (especially when concessions and merchandise are factored in), but it’s just hard to fathom a team selling its product for so little. Seriously, and not to get all Superbad on this thing, but, no offense, this isn’t some [redacted] fly by night league. Sorry for cursing. This is the National Basketball Assocation. This isn’t home ec. No offense. In any event, one more loss by the Wolves will clinch the third-worst record, which ensures absolutely no worse than the No. 6 pick. Assuming the odds this year are the same as last year and that they wind up with the third-worst record, the Wolves will have a 15.6 percent chance of picking first, a 31.3 percent chance of picking in the top two and a 46.9 percent chance of picking in the top three. Even if they pick sixth, a season ticket would be $258. Again, a rather intriguing gamble, and shame on the Wolves for making us intrigued. We just wish this kind of thing had been around 7 or 8 years ago, when our interest in the NBA and gambling were at their highest; then again, at that time, the Wolves didn’t have any first-round picks with which to play this game.
Tiger Woods is having knee surgery. … MLB.com is cursing the Twins. That’s right, two consecutive nights we’ve become frustrated with the ESPN.com game tracker and switched over to the much better MLB.com tracking feature, only to have the bullpen implode minutes later in both cases. Yeah, only an irrational person who has been wrapped up in sports far too long would make any sort of connection between the two.
Fasola-link! Soccer coach of the day.