FanPost

My Introduction to The Staples Center

The Lakers moved into The Staples Center just before the 1999-2000 season. They have won 5 titles since that time.

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And it is hard for me to say this, as I am a huge Laker fan, but I had never been to Staples Center for a Laker game. That was, until Sunday afternoon, when the Lakers played against the Clippers. And what an introduction to Staples Center it was!

This whole process, of me visiting The Staples Center for the first time, all started back in the summer, when the Lakers were in the preseason. A friend of mine who I went to high school with, who now worked in the Clippers sales department, left a post on Facebook about how she was selling Clipper season tickets as a very reasonable price.

I was not interested, as I live in Salt Lake City, but I relayed the message to my best friend, who still lives in Torrance, CA. I thought he might be interested, as we are both huge basketball fans and just enjoy watching good basketball. He had gone to several Clipper games the year before, as they were MUCH cheaper than buying Laker tickets.

To my surprise, he actually bought the season tickets. They were pretty decent seats (the back of section 114). And since then, he has actually made almost all of his money back, simply by selling the tickets to the good games that he couldn't make it to (The Lakers on 12/8, The Heat on 1/12 and The Magic on 12/12). He had invited me to go to either of the Lakers games, but was unable to make it to the first one on 12/8. I really wanted to fly down to the second game, but my wife had made plans for us that weekend that weren't refundable.

Little did I know, that my wife was just being sneeky. She hadn't actually planned anything that weekend, she had already bought me a ticket to fly down to the game as a Christmas present. Lets just say I was very surprised and VERY happy when Christmas morning rolled around.

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So, as I got into town for the Laker game, my buddy had been talking to the girl i went to high school with about upgrading our seats for the game. She was in the process of finding someone who wanted our tickets, so that we could upgrade ours. I got in town on Saturday morning, and we went all day without hearing any good news from her.

However, Sunday morning would be a different story. She had gone into the office at 9 o'clock in the morning and instantly found a buyer. We told her we wanted the upgraded seats! We weren't entirely sure where we were sitting, but she said they were awesome seats. For what she charged us, I wasn't expecting a huge upgrade, but boy was I wrong.

We left as soon as we could, as we had to get down to Staples Center early to exchange the tickets with her. We called her when we got there, and she said she would be out in about 5 minutes. We spent some time checking out the statues in the front of Staples Center. At this point, I was angry with myself, as I didn't drive 30 minutes to get my dads camera that I used at the previous Laker game that I went to (at Energy Solutions Arena). {You can see my pictures here: Lakers Fans Represent At energy Solutions Arena.}

Five minutes later, she called us and said to meet her at the VIP entrance. The doors at Staples Center didn't open until 11:30. It was 11:00, so we had to go in with her, through the VIP entrance. Upon entering, we took an elevator down and proceeded to walk down a hallway filled with pictures of great LA basketball & hockey players, celebrities & musicians who had all performed on the Staples Center floor. We had reached the end of the hallway, and came to a door.

Just before we got to the door, it was being opened by someone from the other side. DeAndre Jordan walks through. What a beast of a human being. I thought I was tall at 6'6". This dude was huge! He said "sup" and proceeded to give us all high fives, as I guess he knew the girl I went to high school with. We walked through the door, and the Clippers locker room was immediately to our right. Baron Davis and Eric Gordon were both standing outside the Locker room chating about something. My buddy (who is now also a Clippers fan), yells "EJ". Eric Gordon threw up the deuces as he continued talking to Davis.

We walked out the tunnel onto the floor of Staples Center. Only one player was out warming up. A-Bizzle was doing work with The Shawfather. We walked across the court in order to get to our seats. We were headed up the stands when she stops and points to our seats. We both were a little shocked. We were in the 6th row from the floor. (Section 105, Row H, Seats 3 & 4.) We were right next to the visiting teams (Lakers) tunnel. I guess you could say we were a little shocked at how good this upgrade was.

We were there early, so we got right up against the railing and waited for the Lakers to come out. It was awesome! High fives from A-Bizzle, D-Fish, Odom & Ron-Ron. No autographs this time though. Only A-Bizzle had stopped to sign autographs, and he only signed one. Oh well, I couldn't complain. The game was about to start and I had my camera ready to record the Lakers introduction. I've posted it below. You can see for yourself, just how good our seats were.

Lakers/Clippers Game - 1/16/11



The action is much different when you are that close. The players seem to run faster and jump higher. And you can hear everything they say. And I do mean everything! (the fight as the end of the game was extremely fun to watch). We were having a blast, when the girl I went to high school with, sent us a text to meet her out by the concessions.

She had Porsche Passes for us, which allow you to go into a bar down by the locker rooms at halftime. She said that if we went now, we could stand in the tunnel, as the Lakers walked by the go to the locker room. That was even more crazy. I got high fives from Pau, Ebanks and Luke this time, but you could hear everything they were talking about on their way back to the locker room. I heard Kobe talking to Ron about some cuts he should look for that were there. Fish was talking to Blake about something as well, but I couldn't hear him over Kobe, lol.

It was a pretty awesome experience. I dont know how I'll ever top it. We went back to the bar and filled up on some free appetizers. We bought some more beers on our way out and proceeded to watch the rest of the game. We didn't want it to end. But it did, and even though the Lakers lost, it was a fun game to watch and an incredible experience. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a Lakers victory.

Thanks for reading this. I just wanted to share my experience with some additional Laker fans.

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