Staples Center Rumors
With 19,067 people mostly on their feet in Staples Center, Baron Davis stuck his head out of the sunroof while wearing Los Angeles Clippers warm-up gear and a red headband. His Clippers teammate Blake Griffin needed a memorable dunk as JaVale McGee was eying the trophy in 2011. While the Kia Ultima wasn’t Griffin’s car of choice, he made it work. And in one of the most memorable and debated NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Championships, Griffin sealed the victory by jumping over the silver sedan, somehow having the timing to catch a misplaced one-handed lob pass by Davis and dunking the basketball hard with two hands. “I was worried that I wasn’t going to get the dunk down,” Griffin said. “The idea was to windmill it. It was a little high. So, then I was just like, ‘Dunk it.’ So right after I dunked it, I came down and I was pissed because I didn’t think it was going to be good enough. But it worked out. But like everything, there was controversy.”
But they knew where they wanted to draw the line. The Lakers wouldn’t allow the Balls’ Facebook Watch show, “Ball in the Family,” to film games for free, as other NBA teams have. According to sources, AEG (a minority owner of the Lakers, which owns and operates Staples Center) charged the production company that produces the show when they filmed at games. And when Lonzo Ball wanted to buy 20 premier-level tickets to every Lakers home game for his extended family, a source said he was charged $150,000, the same amount as any other customer for those seats.
Ryan Ward: Jeanie Buss on Elgin Baylor getting a statue outside of the @STAPLESCenter: “I am thrilled that 60 years after the Minneapolis Lakers drafted Elgin, we are able to celebrate & honor him with a statue.” #Lakers
Marc J. Spears: The Lakers say they are dedicating a statue to Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor at Star Plaza at STAPLES Center on April 6th during an outdoor ceremony at STAPLES Center prior to Minnesota game. Over his 14-year career, he averaged 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds & 4.3 assists in 846 games.
Ryan Ward: Jeanie Buss: “Not only is Elgin a part of the #Lakers family, his contributions to the game of basketball earned him a place in the Hall of Fame. His list of accomplishments are unparalleled & I can’t wait to see his statue at Star Plaza alongside the other Lakers legends.”
In what many employees at Staples Center view as the “LaVar Ball rule,” this season the Los Angeles Lakers are enforcing “an existing policy” that no longer allows members of the media to congregate in a section of the arena among family and associates of players after games. Family, friends and agents wait for players in the seats behind the basket closest to the visiting team’s locker room at the conclusion of games. Interviews conducted in that designated area and near the tunnel leading to the arena corridors are now forbidden.
In prior years, media socialized and, at times, interviewed individuals in that sector without interference. If a media member is recognized in that area now, arena security or Laker staffers direct that he or she leave the area. “It’s not a new policy; it’s an existing policy,” a team spokesperson told ESPN. “There has been more media presence in that area than before. That section is strictly for family and guests of players. It’s a privacy concern.”