In their final game at Staples Center before the downtown arena is renamed Crypto.com Arena, the Los Angeles Lakers were routed by the San Antonio Spurs, 138-110, Thursday evening.
To mark the occasion, former Lakers Robert Horry, Metta Sandiford-Artest, Luke Walton, Byron Scott and Gary Payton appeared on the court at halftime with the six NBA championship trophies the Lakers won since beginning play at the arena in 1999.
A special opening video was played prior to tip-off. Fans in attendance received a commemorative ticket, as well as a T-shirt that was a replica of the first T-shirt given away at Staples Center in June 2000, when the Lakers won the NBA’s Western Conference championship.
A banner marking 22 years of Lakers’ history at Staples Center was featured along the top of arena’s City View Terrace.
The Lakers are scheduled to host the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day in the first game played at Crypto.com Arena, but that game is in danger of being postponed, as the Nets’ roster has been devastated by the coronavirus surge.
Brooklyn’s scheduled game Thursday evening in Portland was postponed by the NBA on Wednesday, with the Nets not having the league-minimum of eight players available. It was the third straight Nets game that was postponed.
The Nets have signed four players to 10-day contracts since last Thursday and as of Thursday the Christmas Day game was still a go.
The Lakers’ next scheduled home game after that is on New Year’s Eve against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Clippers, who also call the arena home, are scheduled to host the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, another tenant of the arena, are scheduled to play host to the Vegas Golden Knights at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday.
Crypto.com, which bills itself as the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform, is beginning a 20-year naming rights agreement with AEG, the arena’s owner.
A new logo and other branding assets, including internal arena signage, will be introduced on Christmas Day if the game is played as planned. All of the venue’s external signage will be replaced by June.
The agreement, announced Nov. 17, includes official designations across Crypto.com Arena, L.A. LIVE, Microsoft Theater, The Novo, the Lakers and the Kings.
The agreement also made Crypto.com an official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Lakers and Kings.
Terms of the agreement were not announced, though the Los Angeles Times reported Crypto.com paid more than $700 million for the naming rights, according to sources familiar with the terms. That would make it one of the biggest naming deals in sports history.
Crypto.com claims to have more than 10 million customers. Its headquarters are in Singapore, and it employs more than 2,600 people in offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia.
The company was founded in 2016. It recently began a global campaign featuring actor Matt Damon to formally introduce the platform.
Crypto.com also has sponsorships with the UFC, the Formula One auto racing circuit, Italian soccer’s Serie A, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.