SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Charities were cheated out of thousands of dollars because of a basketball game that couldn’t happen.
“I think that that’s unprofessional and inappropriate,” said disappointed fan Monica Topete.
Donte Green’s charity basketball game, The Goon Squad Classic, should have happened Friday but didn’t.
More than 1000 fans bought tickets, wanting to see Kings stars like Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins. Even Wizards star John Wall was on the flyer.
Instead they got an empty gym.
The NBA scrapped the game at the last second because one team complained.
“You’re walking around like where is everybody?” said Topete. “Yeah, I mean, we were wondering if it’s the right place and we pulled out the tickets to see if it was here.”
She showed up expecting a packed lot. Instead, there were no cars in the parking lot. No players in the gym.
Topete says a refund on her tickets won’t solve everything.
“We got them originally for (my friend’s) birthday so it just kind of sucks that his birthday present was actually fake,” said Topete.
Former King and organizer Green tweeted, “The NBA league office canceled the charity event the day before over concerns the pickup game violated the league’s new collective bargaining agreement. Participating players could be fined or suspended.”
“To me it just doesn’t make sense, I don’t get it, it’s supposed to be a charity event,” said let down fan Alex Padilla.
But now, a source tells CBS13 the league only stepped in after an unnamed team filed a complaint, presumably over injury concerns.
The game was to feature players from multiple NBA teams.
“So it’s the owners’ interests that are protecting it,” said disappointed fan Mark Ahlbon. That’s great fun. Not for you, no.”
Fans like Ahlbon are furious with the last-second letdown.
“Did they even try and contact people either? I didn’t see anything on the internet, didn’t look either,” said Ahlbon.
Last year’s first ever Goon Squad Classic was an oasis during the NBA lockout. But Friday night, it was the fans that were locked out.
“I’m definitely disappointed; I’m kind of shocked,” said Topete.
“It was my birthday present and definitely let down by this,” said Padilla.
Fans will be issued full refunds. Organizers held a fundraiser Friday, hoping to make donations to the charities that would’ve benefitted.
It’s still a mystery which team it was that complained. The Kings say it absolutely was not them.