Season ticket holders become very attached to their seats. The like the view, the people around them, it’s part of the whole NBA experience. Screw with those seats and they get ticked off.
One such dispute with a Toronto Raptors — where his former seats that had nobody in front of them suddenly had a new row obstructing his view — has gotten going to court ugly. Raptors officials say he is just a ticket broker, not an aggrieved fan.
It all starts Nov. 15, as reported by the Toronto Star (via J.E. Skeets and Ball Don’t Lie).
After a flurry of court filings, unsuccessful mediation and a lengthy discovery process over the past four years, Toronto businessman Mark Michalkoff’s complaint against MLSE is heading to a courtroom…
“All we were looking for was for MLSE to say they were sorry, but they didn’t even answer us,” said Michalkoff, who is suing MLSE for $1.6 million. “Then they insult us by calling us scalpers in a counterclaim,” he told the Star. “I’m ready to go to court and have it out. I don’t think there’s anything they can do to stop it now.”
Rajani Kamath, an MLSE spokesperson, declined to comment. However MLSE said in court filings that DLF Solutions Inc. breached its contract because it made a profit off its Raptors tickets. Michalkoff and his company, MLSE said, “are ticket brokers. They earn business revenue by reselling the tickets . . . ”
You can make money re-selling Raptors tickets? Enough to pay for four years of legal fees? That is one dedicated fan base.
Well, at least nobody is missing any games while this winds its way through the courts.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.