Staples Center is becoming the Arena. Why are fans taking it so hard — and


Thursday, the Lakers held a going-away party for the Staples Center. It was billed as a poignant affair.

There was a tribute video. Former players and coaches were in the arena. The night was an opportunity for fans and the franchise to say goodbye to an arena that has been around for 22 years and seen 11 championship teams between all its tenants. On Twitter, Los Angeles fans got emotional about its demise. There was a game, too, but considering the Lakers’ current state, it was better to focus on yesteryear.

Saturday, there will no longer be a Staples Center. It will be tossed into the dustbin of history, alongside the Rose Garden and American Airlines Arena.

There is just one problem, even after such a wistful memorial.

“We didn’t pick Staples Center up and move it to the center of the Pacific Ocean,” Lee Zeidman, the arena president, said. “It is still the same building. It is still the same infrastructure. The same men and women that work for it, that make it so iconic and make it so successful. All we did was for $713 million was change the name for 20 years.”

In less than 24 hours, the Staples Center will become Arena. It will still have the same address. It will still house the Lakers, the Kings, the Clippers, and the Sparks. The statues of Shaq, Kareem and Magic will still stand outside.

But the change has still caused a stir. In a way that is kind of befuddling. The Lakers released a

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