Staples Center Rumors

Kanye West turned 38 on Monday, and his wife, Kim Kardashian, helped him celebrate with a truly epic gift: she rented out the Staples Center in LA and brought all of the rapper’s friends along for a basketball game. Instead of watching the Los Angeles Lakers take the court, Kanye and his friends split themselves into two teams — East and West — for their own game. Kim’s sister Khloé shared an Instagram snap of the group in their jerseys, writing, “Kim rented out staples b*tch!!! Him and his boys are going to ball!!!! Happy birthday Yeezy!!!!” Kylie Jenner also posted a photo of herself with Khloé and her BFF Malika getting silly courtside.
Although Jim and Jeanie Buss say the family is committed to keeping the team, it only requires a “yes” vote by four Buss siblings to force the sale of the Lakers. Philip Anschutz, whose company owns Staples Center and the NHL Kings, and who personally owns 27% of the Lakers, holds the “first look” if the Buss family decides to sell its two-thirds ownership stake. It’s not as strong as a right of first refusal, but it allows Anschutz a chance to buy the team. But if Anschutz passed because the Busses asked for too much, the Chicago investment group Guggenheim Partners, owner of the Dodgers, would eagerly jump into the bidding. The Guggenheim group envisions employing former Lakers star Magic Johnson as the ceremonial face of the franchise, a role he currently holds with the Dodgers.
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Golden State Warriors forward Jermaine O’Neal confronted forward Blake Griffin in the hallway outside the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room at Staples Center after L.A.’s 111-98 win Wednesday night. The two had a heated conversation that was quickly broken up by a Clippers official who led Griffin to the adjacent news conference room.
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Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins has returned to Texas because of the passing of his grandfather and will miss the Thunder’s next two games, league sources told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. Perkins won’t play against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center, nor against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in Oakland, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
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The Los Angeles Lakers were mostly diplomatic when asked about the Los Angeles Clippers’ new initiative, led by coach Doc Rivers, to cover up the Lakers’ championship banners and retired uniforms during Clippers home games, but it didn’t sit so well with L.A. native, and former Clipper, Nick Young. “He can do that?” Young said after Lakers practice Sunday, the team’s first since returning from China. “For real? That’s disrespectful. We got to talk to Doc. He can’t have that. We got to do something about that.”
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Bryant delivered a minute-long speech Wednesday about Jerry Buss, the longtime Lakers owner who died Monday. He delivered the speech before the Lakers played the Boston Celtics, a perfect moment in a rivalry Buss helped build. “On Monday we lost what we all know to be the greatest owner in sports, ever,” Bryant said. “He was a brilliant, incredible owner, but he was even a better person with a great heart. His vision transcended the game, and we are all spoiled by his vision and by his drive to win year after year after year. “And through our years being here at Staples Center, the one thing we could always count on was the great Jerry Buss overlooking his franchise from his box. I’d like to ask all of you to please join us in a moment of silence to honor the great Dr. Jerry Buss.”
On Buss increasing ticket prices and that leading to a stronger economic structure for the league: “It contributed to making it possible to change the economic model of the league. Because in 1987 or thereabouts, our entire arena infrastructure began to be rebuilt, starting I guess with the Palace at Auburn Hills. And then, in the last 30 years or so, every team has played in either a new, a rebuilt, or another new one. … And it would all be made possible by a change to the economics of the league. And really, the buildings became entertainment centers. They became entertainment palaces — video boards, enhanced lighting, restaurants and the like, suites. And the Forum of course was the precursor of most of that, and then Staples Center has taken it to the next level.”
These days, more and more hearty vegetarian meals are popping up at sports venues across the continent. So, after years of ranking the most vegetarian-friendly Major League Baseball parks and NFL stadiums, PETA has surveyed the top vegetarian-friendly NBA arenas, and the results are in: 1. STAPLES Center Because Lob City is playing its best basketball in years, thanks to Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Clippers fans may have more to cheer about this year than Lakers fans do. But fans of both teams have reason to celebrate the STAPLES Center’s awesome vegetarian fare. With vegan sloppy Joes, a veggie burger, vegan sushi, a grilled veggie sandwich, and a hummus-and-pita plate, the STAPLES Center’s vegetarian concessions are a slam dunk for fans, no matter which team they’re rooting for.
Tuesday night at Staples Center the term “clock management” took on a whole new meaning when Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot was announced as the official timekeeper of the Los Angeles Lakers. The brief pre-game ceremony — which involved the presentation of a wristwatch-shaped wall clock to Lakers Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss by Hublot Chief Executive Ricardo Guadalupe at center court — marks the start of the brand’s five-year sponsorship of the NBA team. Earlier that day, Guadalupe told All the Rage that the deal, which will eventually include some kind of brand presence at Staples Center, affords Hublot both exposure to an arena full of potential customers and the opportunity to provide Lakers-related perks (things like game seats and player access) to clients of its Beverly Hills boutique.
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The Clippers agreed to a 10-year extension of their lease at Staples Center, which means they will continue to play in the arena until at least June 2024. The team moved from its outdated home at the Sports Arena, playing its first game Nov. 2, 1999 in Staples Center. “We’re very excited about our present and our future at Staples Center,” Clippers president Andy Roeser said in a statement. “It is indeed an honor to benefit from the sustained stability that accompanies being part of the greatest venue in the NBA, and we’re glad to provide this state of the art backdrop to our deserving and loyal fan base.”
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Robert Horry laid into former teammate Kobe Bryant while speaking at the ninth Lakers All-Access event at Staples Center. “[When] Kobe is on the weak side, he needs to start paying attention to where the ball is and not be flying around, thinking he’s some stealth bomber where he can get steals nonstop,” said Horry. The Lakers (17-21) have struggled this season as a team to play defense, and Horry put a sizable share of the blame on Bryant. “That’s the only reason you won two games, you solved the problem,” continued Horry, speaking of Bryant’s move to covering point guards Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Cox Cable, with more than 1 million customers in Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas, agreed to terms Sunday with Time Warner Cable for distribution of the new TWC SportsNet and Deportes, the two companies announced Sunday night during the Lakers-Detroit Pistons game at Staples Center. That locks in all the cable companies for the channel that has exclusive regional TV rights to the Lakers, leaving just the two major dish providers – DirecTV and Dish – as the holdouts.
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What it does is create a cushion in which a team like the Lakers that is getting somewhere between $2 and $4 billion over 20 years from Time Warner doesn’t feel any financial pressure to go deep into the luxury tax to retain players. Let’s put the estimate of what Time Warner is paying L.A. at the low end, $2 billion. That’s $100 million per year the Lakers are getting from Time Warner. If TW is paying the Lakers $4 billion over 20 years, that’s $200 million a year the Lakers get from local TV. That’s before they get their cut of the national TV deals, or sell a ticket, or lease a suite, or sell signage inside Staples Center. That means the Lakers have no problems with a team salary that exceeds $90 million, or goes up to $100 million, with the resultant luxury taxes. It’s already paid for. That’s the edge the Lakers have over teams whose local TV deals pay them, say, $10 million a year.
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You’ve been to every NBA arena and were at Brooklyn’s preseason debut. Is the arena as cool/beautiful/swag as everyone says it is? KB: It’s a cool place, in a cool place. Once you get past the oddly shaped and rust-covered exterior, the inside is truly spectacular. The highlights are the herring-bone floor and the way the lights shine on the court and leave the crowd in relative darkness — a la Staples Center. Everything is shiny and new and smartly done. The deciding factor as far as how good an arena this is will be the crowd. The bar has been set pretty high six miles away at Madison Square Garden, which buzzes like no other place in the league when the Knicks are good and engaging a marquee opponent. Selfishly speaking, early indications are that the wifi signal made available to the media works and is super-fast. Based on how shaky/nonexistent wifi is in the majority of NBA arenas, this is the best thing about it, in my opinion.
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One night after being immortalized with a statue outside Staples Center, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be made fun of in a hotel ballroom. Voluntarily, of course. Hosted by comedian George Lopez, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Celebrity Roast will take place Nov. 17 at a downtown Los Angeles hotel, featuring appearances by many of Abdul-Jabbar’s former teammates with the Showtime Lakers, including Magic Johnson. The event also marks the beginning of the “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Experience,” a multi-city tour featuring memorabilia from throughout his life and career.