As a lifelong Lakers fan, it’s hard to imagine any other player I would like to see turn this franchise around… which feels weird. Most of my fandom in the past decade revolved around the desire to avoid LeBron James in the NBA Finals. I rooted against him endlessly. But at the end of the day, he’s the greatest player in the world – even at 33 – and you’d rather he be on your team than your opponent’s.
Kobe Bryant and his “mamba mentality” will always be my vision of the Lakers. But. it’s not like LeBron isn’t like minded in the will to win mentality. LeBron James has been called everything but merciless, and it’s hard to argue. But LA doesn’t need him be Kobe to teach the young faces of this franchise about accountability, something this team lacked in Bryant’s final years, which is why those players are no longer around.
This move may be about LeBron planning for his life after basketball, but the effect is undeniable, both on and off the court. The Warriors may be the champions, but nothing they or the rest of the league does next season will top the most polarizing figure in basketball, LA-Bron.
But what exactly is that deciding factor? What exactly makes you a polarizing figure?
When you play for three different franchises within a 10-year period and every single one of the places you call home results in sold-out arenas, a booming economy resulting from tourism and the public travelling in to see you and some of the highest average ticket prices in the NBA. Like many, we call it the “LeBron James Effect”.
The disruption of Lakers’ ticket prices should come as no surprise to anyone who not only follows ticket prices, but simply follows LeBron James. ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell spoke to Cleveland ticket broker Mark Klang of Amazing Tickets, who anticipated that “the tickets he held for next season would lose 60 percent of their value”.
With the NBA schedule looming and maybe more anticipated than ever, we studied the only guaranteed games available to the general public. The prices below display the average ticket price for all Lakers preseason games in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
ATP (Average Ticket Price)
2016 | $88.00
2017 | $74.00
2018 | $233.00
Fans have begun swarming the virtual box offices and resale sites to find tickets to be one of the first to see James in the purple and gold. To put this in perspective, we included a few statistics on the effect of ticket prices with LeBron now officially on the roster.
- 22% of 2016 preseason tickets sold on TicketCity.com were for a Los Angeles Lakers game
- 30% of 2017 preseason tickets sold on TicketCity.com were for a Los Angeles Lakers game
- 89% of 2018 preseason tickets sold on TicketCity.com were for a Los Angeles Lakers game
Fifty-six percent of 2018 preseason tickets sold on TicketCity are for the Golden State Warriors-LA Lakers meetings on October 10 and 12.
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