During Thursday night’s game between both the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs, fans paid tribute to the venue, which has been known as Staples Center for more than 22 year and will be renamed to Crypto.com Arena on Saturday.
At Los Angeles, “Staples” became synonymous with both the Lakers’ championship teams, which featured Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Pau Gasol and were managed by Phil Jackson. The Lakers claimed the NBA title in every one of their first three seasons in Staples Center, and went on to win three more titles during their time there.
Following the Lakers’ 138-110 loss to San Antonio, past Lakers Gary Payton, Byron Scott, Luke Walton, Metta Sandiford-Artest, & Robert Horry each trotted out again to pose amongst six championships on stone pillars upon that court.
Multiple NBA All-Star Games were played in Staples Center, with O’Neal, Bryant, and LeBron James as MVPs. On All-Star Saturday, LA Clippers player Blake Griffin’s historic dunk over a car was the highlight of the 2011 All-Star Weekend. Bryant’s 81-point outing in 2006, as well as his 60-point effort in his final NBA game in 2016, both took place on the Staples Center parquet.
The naming rights to the arena that has housed the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers for the past 20 years were acquired to office supply firm Staples in 1997 for $116 million for a 20-year term that commenced when the facility opened in downtown Los Angeles in 1999.
For Christmas Day, whenever the Lakers take on the Brooklyn Nets, the building will be renamed Crypto.com Arena (8p, ESPN). According to various sources, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform paid AEG $700 million for the rights over a 20-year period.
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