Tonight, 37-year-old Kobe Bryant will play his last game of professional basketball, and you can be a part of it — for just $20,000.
That's the ticket price on StubHub.com of a single courtside seat for the game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center — a small price to pay for a chance to be sweated upon by the last-place, 16-and-65 Lakers. Maybe Jack Nicholson will do that thing with his eyebrows.
If you're determined to see the Black Mamba play one last time but aren't exactly the King of Siam, StubHub has tickets going for as little as $780 each, though you'll have to sit way up in the nosebleed seats. There are still some very good seats in the loge section, just behind the floor section, going for a few thousand dollars apiece.
According to ESPN, one (presumably very rich or crazy or both) fan paid $55,000 for two tickets to tonight's game.
Prices appear slightly more reasonable on Craigslist, ranging from $10,000 a ticket to just $200. There's also a guy looking to trade his two Coachella tickets for Lakers tickets. Not an LCD Soundsystem fan?
But there are, apparently, some actual bargains out there. According to the L.A. Times, a group of Chinese tourists paid $10,000 each for a package that included tickets to tonight's game, dinner with former Laker Rick Fox, a chance to shoot hoops with current Laker and rising star D'Angelo Russell and, finally, a photo op with the man himself, Kobe Bryant. According to the Times:
When the Lakers take on the Jazz on Wednesday and cap off Bryant's 20-year career, “There will be a lot of Chinese faces in the stands,” said Ian Yang, vice president of Beijing-based Irena International, another organizer.
Tonight's game marks the end of a remarkable 20 seasons for Bryant, who was drafted at the age of 17 by the Charlotte Hornets. He was soon traded to the Lakers (for Serbian center Vlade Divac), where he would go on to win five championships, one MVP award (in 2008), two finals MVP awards, play in 18 All-Star games and win two Olympic gold medals with the USA men's basketball team.
Though his reputation was somewhat marred by sexual assault allegations (he was never prosecuted, though he did settle a civil suit for an undisclosed amount), and his talent as player was rather diminished in the last few years, he is still considered one of the greatest basketball players of his generation.
There is another, arguably more important basketball game in California tonight, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. There, the Golden State Warriors will try to break the record for most wins in a single season, with 73. Courtside tickets to that game are going for as much as $11,000 — a relative bargain!