CHICAGO - When TMZ Sports recently posted a story that online seller Flash Seats sold tickets to the Cavs-Nets game at the Quicken Loans Arena last Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time) for as low as $2, many were quick to poke fun at the insane bargain.
But the Cavs don't really mind the jokes, they're laughing their way to the bank.
Per Bleacher Report, the Cavaliers draw more people to their home building (19,432) than the L.A. Lakers do at Staples Center (18,997).
Make no mistake, Cleveland's ticket promo isn't an act of beggarly desperation. It's a work of genius by the marketing savvy folks within the corporate staff.
And it's a win-win for everyone.
Fans can watch world-class basketball for close to nothing. With the sea of humanity converging downtown, the local economy gets a boost as well, putting money in the pockets of those toiling in the service industry - the waiters, bartenders, bellhops, valet attendants, Uber drivers, among others.
So where do the Cavs get their piece of the pie?
Well, $2 tickets certainly won't help pay for Kevin Love's $24.1 million salary this season. And neither would cheap seats satisfy a team payroll of $116,736,469, which is 18th in the league, according to HoopsHype.com.
But by luring people to their arena, the Cavaliers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars per game through arena parking fees, the sale of pricey food and beverage in the concession stands, plus untold revenue in the official team store.
Multiply that by 41 home games and the number of zeroes become dizzying.
Maybe the PBA can lift a page out of this Cavaliers marketing playbook and address the eyesore of empty seats in our beloved league. Paging commissioner Willie Marcial.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH. When the Houston Rockets decided to part with Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute during the offseason, the general consensus was that their defense would suffer.
Those fears (if you love the Rockets) or joys (if you're a Warriors fan) have both been validated four games into their 2018-19 season.
Houston currently surrenders 115.2 points per game and their defensive rating is 21st in the NBA. Last season, they surrendered only 103.9 points per and their defensive rating was sixth in the league at 106.1.
Without Mbah a Moute, Anthony Davis waltzed to an effortless 32-point performance in the Pelicans' 131-112 drubbing of the Rockets at the Toyota Center last October 17. A week later, Donovon Mitchell, unburdened by Ariza's sticky perimeter D, lit the Rockets for 38 in Utah's 100-89 demolition job.
Well he's doing okay, 28.5 points per game average. The reigning MVP is his usual self, shooting in volumes - 79 field goals so far - and over-dribbling at a nauseating pace. He norms nine assists per, which is good. But he turns the ball over five times a contest, which is horrible.
He's 33 years and 173 days old. He has 31,555 playing minutes on his weary knees, too. He makes $35.6 million this season and the only noteworthy fight he's shown so far was against Rajon Rondo.
He says he's still adjusting to life coming off the bench, going through a "learning curve."
Hhhm. The only education here is that Melo never liked to play defense. Sadly for Houston, this version of Anthony is old an 34 and no longer shoots like an All-Star - 40 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from long distance through four games.
In other words, Harden, Paul and Anthony are a Small Three.
Is this why, according to ESPN, the Rockets have offered FOUR first-rounders for disgruntled Jimmy Butler?
Somewhere out there, the Golden State Warriors are laughing.