The following guest post is from Ashlei Deal, who formerly worked for the San Antonio Spurs.
I have been around the sports and entertainment business for quite some time. Growing up in Oklahoma and having spent a year interning for the San Antonio Spurs, this years Western Conference Finals has been close to my heart. When I heard how upset Lil Wayne was that he was denied access to Game 3 in Oklahoma City, I knew there had to be more to the story than him being unwanted.
Along with working in the sports world and being a huge rap fan, I was offended by Lil Wayne insinuating that he was not wanted there because he is black. I attended my first Lil Wayne concert in Tulsa,OK, where he sold out and was well respected. I was always impressed by his performance and had become a huge fan. However, showing up at a game that was sold out (OKC sold out every regular season and playoff game) and expecting to get front row tickets would be difficult, if not impossible, for President Obama to pull off the day of. While entertainers and athletes usually have more money than most, they are not entitled to certain things that aren’t just available. With a person showing up the day of the game, the arena is full, they are not going to kick someone else out of their courtside seats, just to accommodate a famous person.
Lil Wayne was offered tickets by James Harden and Kevin Durant for game four, but decided not to take them, because they were offered by “black players.” He had mentioned he would feel unwanted. Growing up in that state and being involved in several interracial relationships, I never felt any prejudice against me or my significant other. The bottom line is, there were not any tickets available, and you were not unwanted. Most people would have been ecstatic to be sitting by Lil Wayne at a Western Playoff Game. Oklahoma is a small state, with not many famous people making the trek to attend games. While big name teams are accustomed to setting seats aside in case any big names want to appear and get their way at the last minute, they are able to accommodate. Oklahoma doesn’t usually have that happen, as I am sure that Utah and Minnesota do not have that issue either.
Lil Wayne, while I used to be a big fan, I lost respect for you and how you handled the situation. If you would have planned ahead, you would not have had an issue, this has nothing to due with the arena or the state, but your feeling of entitlement.