Oklahoma City Thunder fans shouldn’t expect to see Lil Wayne in the stands during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
On Thursday, the rapper created a Twitter tempest when he posted @LilTunechi “Was going to go to the Thunder game tonight but was denied by the team to be in their arena. Wow. Smh. Go Spurs!”
The Oklahoman’s John Rohde reports that Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney said Lil Wayne’s representatives did contact the team requesting tickets to Thursday’s game, but insisted the rapper sit on the front row. None of those seats were available.
Oklahoma City has sold out every home game during the regular season and playoffs, plus the last 14 games last season.
“We’d love to have him at a game,” Mahoney said, “but like anyone else, he needs a ticket.”
According to ESPN.com, Lil Wayne wrote in a text message to ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez, “They denied me the tix. Didnt want me in their arena. They also said if I do come, I can only sit behind the bench, not on the floor & that I wouldn’t be able to get any special escort nor entrance. They said its the ‘Oklahoma way’.”
On Friday, Kevin Durant and James Harden, two of the Thunder’s brightest stars, reached out to Lil Wayne to offer front-row tickets to Game 4.
According Rohde, Durant said he has two extra front-row seats he is willing to share to bring celebrity status to Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game 4, with tips off at 7:30 tonight.
Harden reached out on Twitter, posting @JHarden13, “@LilTunechi Come to the Next game. We got seats for u 5! Whooppp!”
But the Grammy-winning rapper told the Associated Press in an interview Friday night that he doesn’t plan to take the players up on their offer because he now feels “unwanted” at the OKC arena.
“That’s not the point, though,” he told the AP of the ticket offers from Harden and KD. “It’s the players stepping up but of course the players aren’t white. I don’t want to be sitting there on behalf of you and I’m sitting next to a (person) that’s like `I don’t want this (guy) sitting next to me.’ (Forget) you … I’m in Forbes,” he said, laughing.
While he said he felt welcomed in other NBA venues like Miami, he told the AP that when it comes to Oklahoma, “the players want me there, I don’t want to feel — I’m going to still feel unwanted.”
Lil Wayne told the AP a manager had advised him not to return to the city’s arena for sports events or concerts, but “I never say never.”
At least one celebrity with Oklahoma ties had some insight for Lil Wayne on the situation. OKC native and New England Patriots football star Wes Welker tweeted Friday @WesWelker, “@LilTunechi this ain’t LA bro. Everyone buys a ticket in the Real OC!”
With its 102-82 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Thursday’s Game 3, the Thunder now trails 2-1 in the Western Conference Finals and will try to even up the series tonight. The game airs on TNT.