On Wednesday night, the Warriors will attempt to break the most storied record in the NBA as they go for their 73rd win against the Grizzlies in Oakland. Meanwhile, on the same night, 370 miles to the south, Kobe Bryant will play in his final NBA game when the Lakers face the Jazz in Los Angeles.
In what has turned out to be a bit of bad luck for the NBA, the two games will tip off at exactly the same time (10:30 ET). That’s unfortunate in a league built on the postseason where must-see regular-season games are rare.
This means that most fans watching on television will have to divide their attention. Even if they are flipping back and forth, ratings for the games and the exposure for the ads being aired during the games would have been much higher if the games weren’t being aired at the same time.
As for those attending the games, it is easy to see just how big this night is for the NBA’s regular season.
“This is the most important date in regular-season history, not relating to playoffs, since we opened in 2009,” TiqIQ spokesman Chris Matcovich told Darren Rovell of ESPN.
That interest is reflected in ticket prices for the games on the secondary-ticket market. According to sales data from StubHub collected by Rovell, the average ticket for the Warriors game is more than $400 while tickets for Kobe’s final game are approaching $1,000. In one instance, somebody paid $55,000 for a pair of courtside tickets to see Kobe one last time.