Lakers pay tribute to the STAPLES Center, reliving the best moments in the iconic arena’s history
As of Christmas Day, the iconic STAPLES Center will be gone.
When the Los Angeles Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets, it will kick off a new era in downtown LA with Crypto.com officially taking over the naming rights to the arena.
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Crypto.com paid up to $700 million for the naming rights over the next 20 years, at a valuation of the deal, making it one of the biggest ever in professional sports history. .
Playing against the San Antonio Spurs in the final game at “STAPLES,” the Lakers paid tribute to the home Shaq and Kobe built with a tribute video that relives some of the building’s most iconic moments. .
Over the past 22 years, the STAPLES Center has hosted seven NBA Finals series with the Lakers, along with three NBA All-Star Games (2004, 2011 and 2018), creating plenty of close-up legendary moments and dear in the hearts of Lakers fans.
Lakers.com’s Joey Ramirez posted a Twitter poll for the most iconic STAPLES Center moments, which had over 23,000 votes at the time of writing, with Kobe’s 60-point hit in his final game in Purple and Gold took the top spot.
So with that said, on our final day at STAPLES, let’s take a look back at the Laker’s top 5 moments in the arena.
1. Kobe Finals
What a way to end a legendary 20-year career with the Lakers.
Five-time NBA champion Bryant – and in the words of Magic Johnson, ‘the greatest hunter of all time’ – parted ways with STAPLES Center in stunning fashion (and also in the most Kobe way possible), beat the Utah Jazz by 60 points in a 101-96 Victory match trying to hit the top 50 shots of his career!
“It’s hard to believe it happened this way,” he said after scoring his sixth career-plus 60. “I’m still in shock about it.”
In front of a sold-out crowd, it felt like every Hollywood celebrity was on hand to see LA’s greatest show – Kobe.
And put on a show that he did.
2. Kobe-Shaq Gorge Game
Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal combined into one of the greatest games in Lakers history – and that says something when considering how many How many you can easily beat.
The Lakers led the series 3-1 before losing two games in a row, winning or going home in Round 7 at the STAPLES Center. Placed 75-60 with 10:28 left in the game, the Lakers made a legendary comeback, capped by Bryant’s headbutt against O’Neal that sent them to the NBA Finals.
The Lakers would go on to beat the Indiana Pacers in six games, giving the duo their first NBA title and the franchise’s first three peas since 1988.
3. Kobe’s 81-point masterpiece
This could arguably be the No. 1 on the list, as it’s Bryant’s best scoring performance and the second-highest all-time scoring performance, just behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100.
In a 122-104 comeback win over the Toronto Raptors, the Lakers needed everything from Bryant as he burned anyone who dared to defend him with his full arsenal of offensive weapons. He finished with 81 points from 28 of 46 shots, including 7 of 13 from the 3-point range and 18 of 20 from the free-throw line.
Even Kobe couldn’t believe it.
“Not even in my dreams,” Bryant said after the all-time greatest performance. “It was something that just happened. It’s hard to explain. That’s just one of those things. “
4. Game 7 of the 2010 finals
Game 7. At home. Against your fiercest opponents. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that.
The Lakers won their 16th NBA Championship in a dramatic fashion, rallying from a deficit in the fourth inning to beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7.
It was Bryant’s fifth championship and the Lakers’ second in a row.
“This is the sweetest match, because that’s them,” Bryant said after the win. “This is the hardest time by far. I want it so badly, and sometimes you want it so badly, it slips away from you. My friends picked me up.”
5. Robert H’s Game Winner Sorry
It received LeBron’s vote, so it will be on the list.
Robert ‘Big Shot’ H Bug performed an iconic bell-smash to beat the kings in game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference finals – one of the most iconic hits in Laker history.
Probably need more Big Shot Rob vs Sac game winners!! 1,000%
– LeBron James (@KingJames) December 24, 2021
Taking a two-point lead in the final seconds and staring down the barrel of a 3-1 loss in the series, H sorry let it fly to give the Lakers a 100-99 victory. They would go on to beat the Kings in seven games before beating the New Jersey Nets in the NBA finals.
DEPARTMENT DOCUMENTS. Thanks for the memories.