Cherry picker’s guide to Warriors tickets

Trapped in Golden State

In the coming weeks we’ll be flooded with commercials, emails, Facebook posts, banner ads, tweets, newspaper ads (for the over-40 crowd that still subscribe to one), mailers, billboards, and promotions at places like KFC begging us to buy Warriors season tickets.

It won’t be long after the initial onslaught that the attention will shift to mini plans (already happening) of all shapes and sizes that will be tailored to “all” budgets.

Personally, I’d rather get the seats I want to the games I want. So the mini plans don’t fit my tastes. I get about five games each year, and I’m going to make the most of them.

If you’re like me, you’ll be on Ticketmaster ready to pay your convenience fee to cherry pick the games that you’ve strategically chosen to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

Every season I tend to over-think it and backload my game selections because if there’s going to be a playoff run I want to be there.

Needless to say, I’ve wasted a lot of money over the last few years.

Last season I got the Lakers and two Spurs visits at the end of the season. Out of those three games I got exactly one half of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. I got nothing from Kobe Bryant, and only one appearance by Gregg Popovich. That’s a slap in the face when the coach doesn’t even feel like he needs to make the trip.

I won’t be making that mistake this year — even if I do expect a playoff run — so my choices will be more evenly spread and will take advantage of “dynamic pricing” instead of suffering because of it.

As much as I’ve always gone for the Laker games, they are just too expensive now. Give me the Clippers and the Unibrow Hornets for the same price.

Instead of the Celtics I’ll take the Monta Ellis and Jason Richardson homecomings. I’ve isolated the games I’d like to see and made some notes to have handy the day that single game tickets go on sale.  Thank god I don’t have to wait until Christmas to go to my first game this year!

November 2 — Memphis Grizzlies The 2012-13 home opener will hopefully feature a healthy Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut.  It’s the first real look at the post-Monta Ellis Golden State Warriors.  It just might be our first must-win, because at the end of the year, we might need a tiebreaker against these guys.

November 21 — Brooklyn Nets There’s been so much hype surrounding this team that I’m just assuming it’s going to be a hot ticket.  Personally, I’ll be saving my money for teams I’d rather see even if Jay-Z announces he’ll be performing at halftime.

December 3 — Orlando Magic Good thing you can’t buy individual games yet. Somebody might be really upset right now and by somebody I mean me. I had every intention of being there to boo Dwight Howard and give J-Rich his annual standing ovation.

December 18 — New Orleans UniBrows Who doesn’t want to see the Bay Area premier of the UniBrow? They’ll be in town twice this season but you better catch this one before Eric Gordon gets hurt again.

December 21 — Charlotte Bobcats Just kidding…

December 22 — Los Angeles Lakers There will be no bigger game this season. I hope Warriors faithful pack the place to keep out Lakers fans!

With Howard on board, that may be impossible because the huge Lakers following in the Bay Area — sad but true — will be willing to pay much more than the already insane “dynamic” prices for this game.

For that reason I’ll probably be chanting Beat LA from my La-Z-Boy.  If you are willing to pay the price to see the Lake Show come to town I suggest you swoop up the first of their two trips.

I have a feeling that Kobe may be resting his bionic German knees at the end of the season, and I’m worried about Steve Nash’s back without the Phoenix training staff.

I still think Lacob should make Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver a godfather offer for his medical crew. It would go a long way towards keeping Curry and Bogut on the floor, and wouldn’t count against the cap or luxury tax figures.

December 29 — Boston Celtics The C’s aren’t nearly the draw as in years past, but they’ll still be a top-four team in the East. Plus I’m a sucker for retirement tours. Kevin Garnett might play another couple years after this, but this visit will be that last relevant game he plays in Oakland.

January 2 — Los Angeles Clippers I might actually recommend the Clips later in the month, to give Blake Griffin a little extra recovery time and increase the likelihood that this will be a Dubs vs. Lob City game.

Either way, Chris Paul is worth the price of admission and if Curry and Bogut are still healthy at this point I expect the Warriors to give them an ass-whoopin’.  We can also have a good time laughing at all of the “Clippers fans” with the brand new hats and jerseys.

January 16 — Miami Heat If the Warriors put up the fight they did last year, this game will be worth the stupid high prices. Either way, there will be no more expensive ticket in town this year unless the Niners go to the NFC Championship again.

January 23 — Oklahoma City Thunder I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be dynamically priced out of this game. Last year the Lakers, Heat and Celtics were the three “platinum” priced teams. I think Durant and Westbrook will replace Boston on that list this year.

I’m glad I jumped on both games last year before the marketing department could gouge us to see the most exciting young team in the league. That Ellis-Durant duel was amazing and Curry actually outplayed Westbrook in the first meeting.

If you’re going to pay the price to see them, do it early in the season before OKC starts resting guys for their next NBA Finals run. I may not be the first but I’m calling it early that the Lakers still aren’t the best team out west.

February 12 — Houston Rockets I wish the Rockets were coming to town earlier in the season, because I’ve got a feeling that Linsanity will have died out by February.

He’ll have a Bay Area following no matter what but New York and ESPN have a way of overhyping 25 points and 7 turnovers if it happens at Madison Square Garden.

This will be a good ticket to buy just in case he does go off because you’ll be able to flip this one for two more games if that does happen.

February 22 — San Antonio Spurs I’m not taking any chances with a Spurs late season game this year. If I’m paying it’s because I want to see the Warriors play against Duncan, Parker, Ginobili AND Popovich. Those two late season games last year were insults to anyone who paid full price for them.

March 9 — Milwaukee Bucks I will be in the building for Monta’s return in March.You know why? Because:

“I’m a Warriors, I’m always gonna be a Warriors!”

He made some of the worst Warriors teams fun to watch because you knew that he was going to do something nobody else on the court could do. The fact is those teams were going nowhere with or without him and he played his ass off at all times.

Monta deserves the extended standing ovation he’s going to get. I feel bad that he ended up in a worse situation than the one he had here, since Brandon Jennings is smaller than Steph and needs the ball more. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them isn’t dealt by the deadline. Keep an eye out for that, Milwaukee isn’t done dealing.

March 9 — New York Knicks We might as well call these guys the New York Ball Stoppers. I predict that the Knicks will be a disaster this year.

Between Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith, I don’t know that Tyson Chandler will touch the ball on offense unless he’s crashing the boards.  It’s bad enough as it is that we’ll have to see all of their games broken down on SportsCenter every night.

I won’t be paying to see it.

I’ve left off April games because I’ve been burned too many times and I’m opting to see the games, players and teams I want without assuming the games will get better as we get into the playoff chase.

I’ll be buying five games and will keep a little reserve for the month of April just in case. So right now the plan is to catch opening night, a young UniBrow, Lob City, OKC and Monta Ellis Night.

If the new pricing scheme puts the Thunder game over my budget, I think I’ll probably end up paying the price to boo the hell out of Dwight and Kobe (especially since Dwight made Lebron’s decision look like great television and ended up on the Lakers to boot) or put that money into the playoff hunt reserves.

I’ll also be monitoring StubHub throughout the season because you never know when you’re going to get a $15 lower bowl seat to see Chris Mullin’s jersey get retired and Joe Lacob get booed.

It was a terrible game but it was the best 20 bucks I’ve ever spent.


Justin Taylor writes for Warriors Blog Trapped in Golden State. Like Trapped in Golden State on Facebook and follow @TrappdnGoldenSt to get new columns and join in new conversations.