For the majority of their time in the city, the Los Angeles Lakers have played home games at one of two arenas, the Great Western Forum and the Staples Center.
Memories of the ‘Showtime’ era led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are laced throughout The Forum while Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal have provided a ton of moments at Staples.
In the seasons since the Lakers left The Forum, it has been transformed into a music venue. Meanwhile, the team’s lease at Staples Center runs out in 2025 and owner Jeanie Buss was actually approached by MSG about a return to The Forum when their lease was up.
Ultimately, however, nothing came of the discussion and the Lakers are now discussing an extension to their lease at Staples Center, according to Nathan Fenno of Los Angeles Times:
The Lakers now say that vision won’t be realized, and they are believed to be discussing an extension to their Staples Center lease that runs through the 2024-25 season.
This was a very interesting development as it came just before Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer announced plans to explore building an arena in the same area as The Forum. The Lakers agreeing to return to The Forum would have been a massive move and increased the tension in the Lakers-Clippers rivalry even further.
It also would have been a huge loss for the Staples Center itself as the Lakers are obviously the biggest ticket and all of the businesses built in that area would have all been greatly affected had they returned to Inglewood.
In the end, the Lakers look to be staying put and the memories the franchise already have in Staples Center will hopefully be built upon, sooner rather than later.