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Andre Iguodala says Warriors priced real fans out

Andre Iguodala, Warriors

The Golden State Warriors’ unsuspected emergence as NBA royalty has had its share of direct consequences. Among them is the unreal profit the organization has reaped since winning their first title in 40 years in 2015.

Forward Andre Iguodala, who was with the team before Steve Kerr took over that season, noted how the organization has priced the real fans out, as he told The Breakfast Club podcast:

“You can go look at the Golden State Warriors. When I first got there, we were kind of up-and-coming and I’ve always said we priced our real fans out,” said Iguodala. “But now you look at it, who is our fan base? It’s Silicon Valley, which is the richest community in the world.

“You saw it in The Finals, Kyle Lowry goes into the stands and the guy grabs him and you can read his lips: ‘get out of here, you f***er’ and he pushes him … The dude is worth $2.4 billion and I’m pretty sure … Kyle was different, you can kind of tell he wasn’t in his right state (of mind), but that was him reacting naturally. That was kind of crazy.”

The Warriors still had affordable tickets in the 2014-15 season, even as they steamrolled their way to 67 wins and a rousing playoff stint en route to a championship. The ticket prices skyrocketed that very next season, going even more over the top after acquiring Kevin Durant and seeing the massive demand of the Silicon Valley suits hoping to entertain their rich friends and impress their acquaintances.

This is the same exact strategy the San Francisco 49ers employed when choosing to leave Candlestick Park and move into Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, driving virtually half of their loyal fan base away.

The ploy backfired, however, as the team failed to reach the same level of success after falling short in the Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens in 2012, as those suits were quick to drop their season tickets after the team failed to perform to their bandwagon expectations.

The Warriors could face a similar fate here, but it’s ultimately the promise of this massive revenue that has allowed this team to keep the core intact, despite the tax implications, including potentially the re-signing of Klay Thompson to a max contract, even if it means swimming in luxury tax pandemonium for years to come.