The Lions Den.
It’s the name commonly referred to the crowd at Staples Center in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. Arguably, the loudest crowd for a game in Staples Center history. It’s almost no question that the crowd lifted the team when it needed it the most, throughout the entire game, going into the fourth quarter with a big deficit, and turned that into a victory.
Since then, the Staples Center crowd has been looked down upon in terms of team support. It’s without a question that the Lakers fan base is the largest in basketball, it’s not a question whether Lakers fans are loud, it’s a knowledge that the noise and energy has diminished.
The following games could be the biggest in franchise history. The Lakers have one chance to win or get eliminated by the Boston Celtics, followed by another chance to win a championship or lose a championship to the Boston Celtics. For two of the most storied franchises in Basketball history — battling for supremacy — it’s a two championship swing. It’s Kobe Bryant’s legacy. It’s Phil Jackson’s future.
This isn’t a plea or request for Staples Center to be loud. This isn’t an argument about fans being priced out of the lower bowl, or even upper bowl. This is a reminder of what Staples Center is capable of, and what’s at stake. We have homecourt advantage, let’s make sure the basketball world knows.