‘Privilege ain’t welcome here’

Mark Stevens’ courtside American drama and the end of ‘ownership.’

BY HENRY ABBOTT

Before Game 3 of the NBA Finals, I found myself on the concourse of the highest level of Oracle Arena. If you were scoring it, this would be the place behind the cheapest seats in the back of the doomed arena on the edge of the more affordable of the Bay Area’s two cities. But even here, in the least elite square feet of the Finals, it’s almost like being in the green room of a TV show or the VIP area of a nightclub. The shoes are impossibly expensive, the purses are beautiful and carried by both sexes, minor celebrities dot the halls. On StubHub, the worst seat is more than $600.

And yet it’s not nearly fancy enough. Very soon, possibly tonight—way down there—the arena will host its last ever NBA game. The Warriors will move somewhere sleeker and more expensive still.

I wondered if anyone in the building was just a regular sports fan, here for the love of the game. Maybe not. Maybe the business of the in-person NBA caters to nothing but the rich and powerful. It’s a stre…

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