Hornets will charge more to see Heat, Lakers than Grizzlies, Pacers

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celtics_tickets.jpgVariable ticket pricing is coming to a city near you. It will. By the end of this decade it will be thought of as common for every major sports franchise in America.

What is it? Simply put, it will cost more to see in-demand teams like the Lakers or Heat on a weekend night than it will be to see less high profile squads like the Clippers in the middle of the week. Simple supply and demand economics.

The Hornets plans are discussed in the Times-Picayune (via TrueHoop):

Yet-to-be-determined prices will be assigned to games based on value and demand, influenced by factors such as an opponent’s quality and the day of the week the game is played. Each game will fall into one of five pricing categories: marquee, premium, classic, value and preseason.

“The concept is recognizing the fact that not all games are created equal,” [vice president of marketing Matt] Biggers said. “We play games on all different days of the week, against all different kinds of opponents during different times of the year. There are games where the demand isn’t as high as other games.

“For us, it’s about pricing more in line with what the demand is. For games that have high demand, we can price those appropriately.”

The NFL’s San Francisco 49ers have been doing this for a season. And you have been doing this too — through StubHub (and similar companies). Let the market set the price. That is the raw essence of ticket supply and demand, and season ticket holders have turned to StubHub (now with official ties to many teams) to rake it in for years, making a nice profit by selling some premiere game seats.

Now the teams want a piece of that action. Lest you think this wasn’t about the money. Because it is always about the money.

You may not like this, but you better get used to it. This kind of ticket pricing is the next wave.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

Greg Smith
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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.