Last summer, in fact, Mr. Durant and Mr. Kleiman unveiled a start-up of their own, the Durant Company, with a swelling portfolio of investments in tech companies like Postmates and Acorns, in addition to hotels and restaurants and film and television development. They are also investing with Ronald Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s “super angel” investors and a front-row fixture at Oracle Arena (the Warriors’ current home in Oakland), and consulting with Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow, on his own charity foundation
Despite their deep pocket books, pro basketball players have an appetite for The Cheesecake Factory that borders on cult fanaticism. Over the years, attempts to crack this strange code between hoops stars and the cheesecake stalwart have mainly come in the form of speculation from team trainers and sports analysts. Those investigations pointed to portion sizes, consistency, and accessible luxury among prevailing motivations driving pro ballers’ passion for Cheesecake Factory.
For many who start out in the league, The Cheesecake Factory is aspirational. For those who rode basketball out of poverty, like Indiana Pacers center Al Jefferson, it’s a quantum leap forward culinarily, but one that won’t break the bank for those managing the budgets of their rookie contracts. “I think it’s a five-star restaurant with three-star prices,” Jefferson said.
Despite the fact that two dozen of the best basketball players on the planet are in New Orleans — during Mardi Gras season, nonetheless — for three jam-packed days of NBA All-Star Weekend festivities, ticket prices for the events are at a record low. According to data provided by TicketIQ on Thursday, the cheapest ticket available for All-Star Saturday Night is $120, which is tied for the lowest price (two days before event) since TicketIQ began tracking All-Star data in 2011.
According to TicketIQ, the cheapest ticket for All-Star Saturday Night in 2014 fell 11% between Thursday and Saturday while the cheapest ticket for the All-Star Game fell 42% between Thursday and Sunday. Following these trends, TicketIQ estimates a get-in price of $106 for Saturday and $104 for Sunday. Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge is the cheapest event of the weekend, with tickets starting at just $26.