I had the misfortune of coming in contact with Win Butler at the Cal Berkeley gym this past Saturday (June 2).
I play pickup basketball at the RSF (Recreational Sports Facility) and on this particular evening there was a girl’s basketball tournament going on so only two of the seven courts were available.
This made for a congested couple courts for the evening run.
Win Butler was shooting around on one of the courts. I asked Mr. Butler if he wanted to play. He declined so I asked him if he could move off the court because we were starting a full court game. He angrily refused. He told me, and this a quote:
“I paid too much damn money to get in here and I’m playing on this court.”
Apparently his friends were showing up later and he wanted to reserve the half court for himself and his friends. It costs $10 to get into the RSF. That is the amount that I paid to enter the gym and the amount that everyone pays who is not student, staff or faculty at Cal.
I couldn’t reason with Mr. Butler so I gave up. Two RSF supervisors tried to explain to Mr. Butler the court rules. Finally, a security guard arrived to talk him down. Mr. Butler was extremely agitated and animated during this entire episode. One of the other players claims Mr. Butler pushed him but I did not witness this. The security guard was so fed up with him she told us to just run him over.
The standoff lasted about 45 minutes before Mr. Butler finally left.
After I finished playing I realized my basketball was missing. I remembered last seeing it on the court where Mr. Butler was shooting around with a few other guys.
I went downstairs to the front desk to ask if anyone had turned in a ball. I described my ball to the young woman working the desk. I told her that I had drawn stars on the ball so nobody would take it by mistake.
She said: “The lead singer of Arcade Fire took your basketball.”