The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t the Los Angeles Lakers a year ago. Kobe Bryant admitted as much, as he suggested everyone “flush” the 2013-14 season down the drain and just forget it. That makes sense, too, considering The Black Mamba appeared in just six games.
That wasn’t his Lakers, and fans of the Lakers didn’t recognize that team, either. However, with Bryant back to 100% and Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer supporting him, no one can rule out a furious comeback.
Will it be enough to get The Lake Show back to the playoffs? It’s still too early to tell, but fans are clearly willing to pay big bucks to see the squad at the Staples Center. Below is a breakdown of the top five most in0demand games on the Lakers schedule, according to ticket data provided by Barry’s Tickets:
(1/15/15) VS. Cleveland Cavaliers | Average Ticket Price: $495.27 | Get-in Ticket Price: $90
LeBron James and the Cavs come to town in L.A.’s most expensive home game of the new season. That doesn’t come until the middle of January, though, where Cleveland will hopefully be greeted by a much improved Lakers teams, as well as a hell bent Kobe. Lakers vs Cavaliers tickets have an average ticket price just a shade under $500, about 50% more expensive than the next game on the list.
(12/19/14) VS. Oklahoma City Thunder | Average Ticket Price: $329.07 | Get-in Ticket Price: $48
Lakers tickets take a nice dip here, as a date with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook comes in second but is still just under $330 on average. That’s a sick value for a matchup of what used to be a regular playoff battle.
(10/28/14) VS. Houston Rockets | Average Ticket Price: $328.89 | Get-in Ticket Price: $56
Dwight Howard returns to L.A. on October 28th and this one doubles as the Lakers’ home/season opener. It’s also the debut of Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin as Lakers, as well as a healthy return for both Bryant and Steve Nash. This will be the first opportunity for fans to take a look at the newly renovated “Showtime” squad.
(4/5/15) VS. Los Angeles Clippers | Average Ticket Price: $315.83 | Get-in Ticket Price: $56
The battle of Los Angeles comes at a crucial time in April, as both of these California-based clubs jockey for playoff positioning. They both call The Staples Center home, so you could just as easily include their January battle which has an average ticket price just $2 more.
(1/29/15) VS. Chicago Bulls | Average Ticket Price: $308.96 | Get-in Ticket Price: $46
Derrick Rose and the Bulls round out the Lakers top five most expensive home games of the year, with this one also bringing the return of Pau Gasol. Lakers tickets are still just barely over $300 in this one, giving L.A. fans some value, as well as an interesting meeting with one of their best former players.