By hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers bid farewell to Staples Center before it became Crypto.com Arena on Christmas Day.
The 138-110 loss spoiled the night’s festivities, particularly as it extended the Lakers’ losing streak to four games. Nevertheless, the franchise managed to take fans and players down the memory lane, showing a touching video tribute that featured iconic moments from L.A.’s 22-year tenure at Staples Center, among others.
Many of the current and former L.A. players also talked about their favorite moments from the organization’s time at the arena. Lakers legend Paul Gasol picked the day he became a two-time NBA champion, beating the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals:
Game 7 in 2010 against the Celtics!! https://t.co/wRJF7dU1SH
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) December 24, 2021
Gasol created a ton of memorable moments inside Staples Center alongside Kobe Bryant and his other Lakers teammates. Given the circumstances of a Game 7 NBA Finals matchup with the rival Celtics though, it’s hardly a surprise to see him choose that as his favorite moment in the arena.
That game was a low-scoring defensive battle between two veteran teams with the Lakers ultimately coming out on top 83-79 to clinch their second consecutive championship and get revenge on the Celtics for beating them in the 2008 NBA Finals.
In that game, Gasol came through big time with 19 points, 18 rebounds and four assists to help the Lakers come out on top.
Trevor Ariza’s best Staples Center memory is Christmas Day win over Celtics
Trevor Ariza’s best memory of Staples Center also involved a victory over the Celtics. His was the Christmas Day victory over Boston that ended their bitter rivals’ 19-game winning streak back in 2008.
“Ironically, playing in Staples Center on Christmas Day [in 2008] against Boston [Celtics] and winning. That was probably one of the best moments for me playing in Staples Center,” Ariza recently said.
Then-Lakers head coach Phil Jackson also notched his 1,000th career win thanks to beating the Celtics that day.
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