I just flipped to Rockets/Mavs to see about 27 people sitting in the camera-side stands at Houston’s Toyota Center. With T-Mac and Ron Artest on the court and a natural rival in the building featuring Dirk, it’s surprisingly empty. Unless there’s some awful weather going in in H-Town that I don’t know about, are the empty seats a result of Yao (ankle) sitting this one out?
It reminded me of what Gilbert Arenas‘ told me in his Dime #44 cover story: “A franchise player, he sells tickets if he’s sitting on the bench or if he’s in the game. I know how to sell tickets. I haven’t played basketball in a whole year, and I went from No. 10 to No. 8 in jersey sales. I went up. It ain’t all about on the court. It’s if you sell your team’s product. I’m a product-seller. One reason they signed me back is I know how to sell.” Is that part of Yao’s role in Houston?
Who’s the guy on your team that fans pay to see?