Remember when the Los Angeles Lakers used to play in Inglewood, at the Forum?
New York Knicks owner James Dolan apparently does, and according to the New York Daily News’ reporting on Dolan’s deposition for a lawsuit that Madison Square Garden filed against the city of Inglewood as part of their ongoing legal battle to prevent the LA Clippers from building a new arena there, he tried to get Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to go back to the franchise’s roots:
Dolan said he twice attempted to get Jeanie Buss to consider relocating the Lakers, who last played in the Forum regularly in 1999, to Inglewood.
We already knew that Buss had been approached about this possibility, but the fact that Dolan tried twice (presumably in addition to having Irving Azoff reach out in the original report) would seem to indicate that MSG was pretty serious about trying to block the Clippers from moving to the city of Inglewood.
However, according to a statement the Lakers gave the L.A. Times when that original report broke, they have a lease with Staples Center until at least 2025 and “nothing came from the discussions” with Azoff. According to the same report, the team is also “believed to be discussing an extension to their Staples Center lease.”
So while it would be kind of fun to imagine the Lakers bringing their new brand of Showtime with Anthony Davis and LeBron James back to the Forum just for nostalgia’s sake, it sounds like that’s probably unlikely to happen anytime soon. If anything, Dolan’s apparent desperation makes it seem like the Clippers may actually be on the way out sooner rather than later, giving the Lakers even more leverage with Staples Center and likely ensuring they’ll be there for decades to come.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.