Harrison Barnes Surprises Warriors Fan, Picks Up Bill for GSW Season Tickets

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2013

Mar 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) drives in against the New York Knicks during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 92-63. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison Barnes has taken the whole "giving back" thing to a new level.

The Golden State Warriors forward dialed up one exceptionally lucky Dubs fan on Sept. 5. You know, just to chat. Had Barnes stopped there, he probably would have made Mark Gutierrez's day. After all, it's not often that an NBA player picks up the phone to call a fan out of the blue.

But Barnes took things a step further, delivering the mind-blowing news that he'd be picking up the tab for Gutierrez's recently purchased season tickets. 

That's right: For one fan, the 2013-14 season is on Barnes.

Gutierrez's great fortune wasn't totally random, though. He was the guy who put the Warriors over a milestone by purchasing the 14,000th set of season tickets for the upcoming campaign, a mark very few NBA teams reach.

Best of all, a friend whipped out his phone to record video of the whole conversation, preserving the out-of-nowhere moment for all of us to enjoy.

It's pretty amazing to think that less than two years ago, the Dubs were an injury-riddled lottery team. Now, they're attracting fans in droves and are on course to become one of the NBA's marquee franchises with an impending move to San Francisco in 2017.

Big crowds are nothing new for the Warriors. They sold out their final 38 home games last season and averaged more than 19,000 fans per contest on the year, the second-highest mark in franchise history. In fact, only four NBA teams saw more bodies pour through the turnstiles in 2012-13, per Warriors.com.

Golden State's breakthrough season and first-round playoff victory probably would have been enough to entice fans to ante up for season tickets. Toss in the scene-stealing postseason by Stephen Curry, and the Dubs could have sat back and expected a huge turnout next year.

But then they went out and grabbed Andre Iguodala to round out the starting lineup. Apparently, the addition of one of the league's most versatile two-way stars to a team that won 47 games was enough to create a tidal wave of fan excitement.

The Warriors haven't played a game yet, but it seems they're already paying fans back for that support.

Barnes' generosity may not quite measure up to Curry's humanitarian work with refugees in Tanzania, but it's clear that the Dubs are looking to give back—both abroad and close to home.