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Fans, arena workers suffer through NBA lockout

by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 23, 2011

Love and her adult daughter, Angela, have held season tickets each year. As Love said, they plan their lives around the season. The two took a graduation card to Sunday's game intent on giving it to former Thunder forward Jeff Green. It was revoked from Green's hands when Green informed Angela he has yet to graduate from Georgetown.

“It's like you have more mothers when you play here,” Love said.

While ticket holders like Love are saving money (and actually collecting interest) during this lockout, arena employees are losing it.

Sunday's game was the first event many of SMG's 700-some odd part timers have worked since the playoffs ended for the Thunder in May. They've been the real losers in all this. Them and their families.

To some, the job is a hobby. To many, it's a lifeline they depend on for additional income.

While the pay isn't great, it comes only when hours are worked. With the Thunder having lost two preseason games, and another two regular season games already announced as canceled, there's no recouping that coin. As one arena usher said Sunday, “I'm in the broke house.”

The sad thing was it was unclear just how serious the usher was.

Hope is all that fans, arena employees and players shared Sunday night. Hope that this labor dispute would somehow find a quick resolution. Hope that, soon, they all could get back to enjoying the game they love.

“We love our teams so much that we will be here,” said Love.