Back during the early years of the Los Angeles Lakers, and especially during the ‘Showtime’ era, the Great Western Forum was the place to be as many historical moments took place inside that building. This current era, however, makes its home at Staples Center.
The Staples Center has housed the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Kings since 1999, as well as the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks since 2001 and a number of unforgettable moments have happened in the arena.
On March 26, 1998, the city of L.A. officially broke ground on Staples Center. It would open up the following year and the Lakers made sure to christen it almost immediately.
In their first season in Staples Center the Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, won the first of three consecutive NBA championships. One of the greatest moments in franchise history, Kobe’s lob pass to Shaq in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, took place that season.
Of course, Staples Center was home to plenty of other moments such as Shaq’s 60-point birthday domination of the Clippers, Kobe’s 81-point game, and Robert Horry’s buzzer-beater against the Sacramento Kings.
Overall the Lakers have won five championships during this time, with two being clinched in the building itself. Both of the Kings’ Stanley Cup Championship wins came in this building, and two of the three Sparks championships were clinched here as well.
The Clippers, meanwhile, have also played games in the building and while they haven’t hung any championship banners like the rest of the tenants, they do post some nice pictures in the rafters.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since Staples Center began construction as fans have so many memories in the building. With the way the young Lakers are looking this season it may not be much longer before the new wave adds their own moments to this historical building.
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