SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As the minutes tick down to Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson’s anticipated return to the court after 2 1/2 years of an injury-forced absence, ticket prices soared into the stratosphere Friday with a pair of courtside seats being offered on a popular resale site for more than $70,000.
All signs are Thompson will be in the starting lineup for Sunday evening tip-off against the Cleveland Cavaliers.READ MORE: UPDATE: 4 Minors Arrested In Connection with Shooting in Hillsdale Mall Parking Lot
According to the Warriors website, courtside club seats go for $1,200 apiece at regular prices, but this is hardly a normal game, and a star-studded crowd is expected in the Chase Center.
On Monday, courtside tickets were being scooped up for between $10,000 and $15,000, but those prices have steadily gone up since. Nosebleed seats in the upper reaches of Chase were holding steady around $216 apiece.
Thompson, one of the most feared shooters in the league, will be coming back after spending two years away from the game, rehabilitating first from a torn ACL and then a torn Achilles tendon.
Reuniting with ‘Splash Brother’ Steph Curry on a team already sporting one of the NBA’s best records has Warriors fans dreaming of another league title.
And his return may be coming when the team needs him the most. Curry is in the midst of his worst two-game shooting slump of his career and the Warriors are coming off back-to-back losses.READ MORE: UPDATE: Police Shoot, Kill Armed Suspect Outside International Terminal at SFO
“The way they are playing Steph, the way everybody is playing Steph, they are really putting their best defender on him, they are attacking him with double teams,” Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said. “It will be nice to have Klay on the floor on the weak side. He’ll probably see a lot of open shots the way teams are guarding Steph.”
The fans aren’t the only ones anxious for Klay’s return. As Thompson strolled off the court after a pre-game shootaround before Monday night’s Heat game, he held up six fingers, for the days until his return, and the fans went wild.
Warriors star Draymond Green stood nearby, a smile across his face.
“The light at the end of the tunnel, you can see it,” Green said. “I was very excited to see him walking off, embracing that love. Holding his hands up. I’ve seen what he’s been through the last 2 1/2 years. It’s not pretty. And so for those fans to line up out there like that and show that support for him, you want that for him.”
Green has watched Thompson suffer through a range of emotions as he worked his way back.MORE NEWS: Oakland Police Arrest Four in Separate Weapons and Drug Busts
“I know what he’s gone through,” he said. “I’ve seen it first hand. The good days, the bad days. Days where he comes in bouncing off the walls, talking to everybody non-stop, won’t shut up, and days where he doesn’t have a word to say to anyone. That’s just that roller-coaster. I can only imagine what he’s going through. I’m excited for him. He deserves it. That’s a guy who has given all he’s got to this game. He’s gotten the opportunity to be healthy and come back and that’s what we all hoped for.”